For­mer New Zealand cap­tain Steve Sum­ner dies

Cape Breton Post - - IN MEMORIAM - RE­MEM­BER­ING

Steve Sum­ner, who cap­tained the New Zealand foot­ball team that played at the 1982 World Cup af­ter the long­est qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign in the tour­na­ment’s his­tory, died Wed­nes­day. He was 61.

New Zealand Foot­ball said Sum­ner had died from prostate can­cer, which was first di­ag­nosed in 2015.

English-born Sum­ner led New Zealand through a 15-match qual­i­fy­ing cam­paign which in­cluded matches against Aus­tralia, Fiji, In­done­sia, China, China Taipei, Kuwait and Saudi Ara­bia.

In or­der to reach the fi­nal play­off, New Zealand had to beat Saudi Ara­bia by five goals in Riyadh and did so, lead­ing 5-0 at half­time and hold­ing on in a score­less se­cond half. It then beat China 2-1 in Sin­ga­pore to reach its first World Cup fi­nals, af­ter play­ing more matches than any other nation to reach a World Cup at that time.

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