Old Boy and Former All White Adrian Elrick
It was a pleasure to have Old Boy Mr Adrian Elrick (1964 - 1967) join us for a recent school assembly. Mr Elrick played 91 matches for the All Whites, including their appearance in the 1982 Football World Cup in Spain.
Mr Elrick had some key messages for our young men about the importance of seizing opportunities when they arise - even if this means putting yourself out of your comfort zone. He also emphasised the importance of hard work and determination, especially when there are difficulties and challenges in front of us.
As well as his assembly presentation Mr Elrick spent time with the 1st XI football training squad and the Year 10 football sports development class. Both groups appreciated the opportunity to talk with one of New Zealand's most capped footballers.
Mr Elrick was born in Aberdeen in Scotland and moved to New Zealand as a young lad. In his time at Boys’ High Mr Elrick starred in multiple codes. He was selected in the 1st football XI as a third former, or Year 9 in today’s money, and played for the 1st XI for all four years he was at Boys’ High, captaining the side in his final year.
He also played for the 1st cricket XI, first selected as a fourth-former, from 1965-67, with a highest score of 129 against Napier BHS. He won the all-rounder and batting cups in 1967; the Palmerstonian records that Mr Elrick was “a hard hitting batsman who uses his feet attractively”. He was a boxing champion from 1965-67, winning the Most Scientific Boxer cup in each of those years. In the 1966 Featherweight Championship final Mr Elrick beat J Tufuga in “a very fast, scientific and close bout. Elrick used his elusive footwork to advantage against Tufuga’s extremely fast punches”. A bit of a theme emerging here, gentlemen, about Mr Elrick’s quick feet – quite important for a football player.
Mr Elrick was also the senior diving champion in 1967 and he won the top sporting award, the Dux Ludorum, in Year 12, his final year at school. That year he was invited to join the New Zealand U23 football squad that played Scotland and Manchester United.
After leaving school Mr Elrick played for the North Shore football club – for whom he would go on to play more than 500 matches. He made his debut for New Zealand – the All Whites – against China in 1975 and he played 91 matches in the white shirt, including 53 ‘A’ internationals. Playing as a left-back or sweeper, Mr Elrick played all three matches at the 1982 World Cup in Spain – the first time New Zealand had ever qualified for the World Cup – against Scotland, the USSR and the mighty Brazil. After the Brazil game he swapped his playing shirt for that of legendary Brazilian player, Zico.
Mr Elrick’s final game for the All Whites was against Bahrain in 1984.