First New Zealand representative women’s football team wins Asian Cup

2 September 1975

Sixteen members of a football team, all women, standing and crouching in two rows, plus one man. The women are all wearing white trouser suits. In front of them are two silvers cups decorated with ribbons.
Victorious New Zealand women's football team with the 1975 Asian Cup (New Zealand Football)

In their first outing on the international stage, the New Zealand women’s football team won the invitational Asian Cup tournament in Hong Kong, beating Thailand 3–1 in the final. They had beaten Hong Kong 2–0 and Malaysia 3–0 in group play before outlasting arch-rivals Australia 3–2 in the semifinal. Vice-captain Marilyn Marshall was the top-scorer in the tournament with six goals.

Gamblers angered by the unexpected New Zealand victory threw rubbish at the team as it ran a lap of honour around Hong Kong Stadium, then followed up by hurling rocks and bottles at their bus as it departed. One player was slightly injured.

The New Zealand Women’s Football Association had been formed a few months earlier to enable a national team to be selected. Coached by Dave Farrington and captained by Barbara Cox, the 15-strong squad was selected from Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury, the only regions with established women’s leagues. Team members raised funds to help meet their travel and accommodation costs.

Members of the team pictured with the Asian Cup trophy above are:

Back row: Dave Farrington (coach), Barbara Cox (captain), Mary Ann Poole, Kathy Simeonoff, Nora Hetherington, Carol Waller, Elaine Lee, Marilyn Marshall (vice-captain), Nell Jongeneel, Sandra Twiname, Sue Jacobs.

Front row: Raewyn Hall, Nadene Elrick, Carol Knox, Debbie Chapman, Isobel Richardson, Pene Mack (manager)

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