Let's Celebrate Our All Whites Heroes

14 July 2010

The All Whites and Ricki Herbert will be welcomed home and their World Cup success celebrated at a parade through central Wellington on Wednesday 21 July.

It will be a chance for Wellingtonians to applaud our World Cup heroes and cheer on players from the Wellington Phoenix and the Argentinean club Boca Juniors, who will join the All Whites in the parade ahead of the Phoenix-Boca friendly game at Westpac Stadium on Friday 23 July.

Prime Minister John Key will wave the team off from Parliament's forecourt at 12.30pm. They will make their way down Lambton Quay, Willis Street and Mercer Street before being met by Mayor Kerry Prendergast and John Key in Civic Square.

Fans will be able to get autographs of their favourite players after the parade. Non-Wellington All Whites Ivan Vicelich and Aaron Clapham have confirmed their attendance and US-based Simon Elliott is flying in from the United States.

Mayor Prendergast says the parade is a celebration of the All Whites success and a chance for Wellingtonians to come and cheer their football heroes. "We're all proud of what the All Whites achieved - not just Wellingtonians but of course everyone in New Zealand. This is our chance to tell them how proud we are.

"Their World Cup finals story began in earnest in Wellington when they beat Bahrain at the Stadium last November. So it's fitting that their journey finishes here with a welcome-home parade and celebration of their journey. It really has been a great year for New Zealand football.

"It's also a chance for people to get out and show some serious support for two big upcoming campaigns - the Phoenix to go even better this year to win the A-League and the All Whites to qualify for the 2014 FIFA World Cup."

New Zealand Football Chief Executive Michael Glading is pleased that fans will get the chance to personally thank the All Whites personally for the exhilarating ride they delivered over the last eight months.

"This team will go down in history as one of New Zealand's greatest sporting stories. To head away to a World Cup as the underdogs and come home undefeated is an incredible achievement; they have made a mark - not only in New Zealand but throughout the world, and we should all be very proud of their performance."

The Phoenix play the Boca Juniors at Westpac Stadium on Friday 23 July. Kick-off is at 7.30pm. Fans can meet the Boca squad at an open training session at the Stadium at 4pm on Thursday 22 July.