Passion for Metro as strong as ever
GOOD SPORT Keith Brunton has been a key fixture in Auckland’s second-oldest football club for more than 46 years. The Metro Football Club first team manager and Metro Mt Albert Sports Club president has seen the club through its good and bad times. Report
From his first kick-off at the age of 11 to the sidelines 46 years later, Keith Brunton is still in love with the game of football.
The Metro Football Club first team manager has been volunteering his time for almost five decades to the point where he has become ‘‘part of the furniture’’ at the 114-year-old club.
‘‘The club’s won’t survive without it. The biggest gift you can give to a club is your time,’’ Brunton says.
As an 11-year-old, the former rugby league player decided to jump the creek to the Phyllis St Reserve and follow in his brother’s footsteps on the football pitch. He has never looked back. Brunton moved his way up from the junior to senior team before finally hanging up his boots in his mid-30s.
‘‘My biggest love is football and in that period of 17 years of playing a lot of people did a lot of things for me as well and it’s all about giving back.’’
He has also served as president of the Metro Mt Albert Sports Club, which combines both the codes of football and softball, for the past six years.
Whether it is managing the team or sweeping out the changing rooms he can always be found during weekends ‘‘dabbling around’’ at the club, he says.
‘‘You sort of do it without even thinking half the time.’’
Metro FC was established in 1899 and is second only to North Shore United for the title of Auckland’s oldest football club.
It has been based at Mt Albert’s Phyllis St Reserve since 1950.
Times have changed since he first got on board though, Brunton says.
‘‘Years ago if you wanted to do repairs or additions to the club you just put the word out and you got a working bee going.
‘‘It’s a lot harder to get people down here now.’’
Dedicated volunteers work hard to keep the club ticking but like most clubs it takes year-round lobbying to try to attract more,’’ he says.
‘‘That’s the biggest thing that’s changed over the last 20 years.
‘‘People just don’t have the time.
‘‘You’ve just got to have a love for the sport and the club that you’re involved with.’’
But Brunton sees a bright future for the historic club through its young players.
‘‘We’ve certainly been through some bad times but we’re started to get a little bit stronger in the seniors with the help of the juniors coming through.
‘‘We’re building up our youth section because we’re thinking we can just pluck players from there rather than from someone down the road later on.’’
Metro Football Club’s Keith Brunton has dedicated much of his life to football and wants to see his club go far.