Former stars of the golden generation

Where are they now, and what did Olympic gold mean to the men from the Montreal triumph? The stars of 1976.
NZ Hockey player Trevor Manning returns home from the 1976 Olympics holding the gold medal he won while playing with a smashed kneecap.
NZ Hockey player Trevor Manning returns home from the 1976 Olympics holding the gold medal he won while playing with a smashed kneecap.

Paul Ackerley

Ackerley passed away in 2011, aged 61, soon after being diagnosed with a malignant melanoma and not long after a hockey reunion in Christchurch. His wife, Rosemary, said Ackerley, who coached the New Zealand women for six years, got "enduring" satisfaction from his Olympic gold.

Jeff Archibald

Played more than 100 tests and his Rio-bound son Ryan is a world-class midfielder for the Black Sticks. Archibald snr played club hockey into his 40s and is now a golfer at The Grange in Auckland. The gold medal helped his "inner confidence".

Tur Borren

A "corporate doctor" for companies in strife. Had triple bypass surgery last year. Semi-retired. The lessons of Montreal helped shape his business life - "the gold medal was my ticket," he says.

Alan Chesney

Put 'Olympic gold medallist' on his business cards when selling insurance in Australia. Now has a health consultancy in South Africa. The medal "opened a few doors for me".

John Christensen

Works in regional government, grows hazelnuts in North Canterbury and still cycles with 1976 team-mate Selwyn Maister. Cherishes the Montreal memories and the bonds formed.

Greg Dayman

The Auckland architect says he is staggered by the number of people who still remember the 1976 triumph and watching the final on TV.

Tony Ineson

A lot of the players suffered physically - Ineson had knee problems. Headed adidas in New Zealand. Ineson, who is in Christchurch, says Montreal gave his sales-orientated career a boost, "[but] it's history now."

Alan McIntyre

The Wellington stalwart, who worked for Statistics New Zealand, retired to Hawke's Bay after a 2008 heart attack nearly killed him. He still enjoys being recognised for the Montreal triumph - "that's made a difference to my life".

Neil McLeod

Along with fellow reserve goalie Les Wilson, McLeod was controversially denied a gold medal. Montreal elicits mixed emotions - he is proud of his part but "pissed off" he never made it on to the field.

Barry Maister

The Christchurch school teacher became head of the New Zealand Olympic committee and remains on the IOC. Described as a shy teenager, he says Montreal transformed him - "an incredible confidence booster ... it opened doors ... I've had an incredibly charmed career".

Selwyn Maister

Continued to play a huge part in sport and hockey and still coaches young kids. Lives in rural Canterbury and is the current chair of Paralympics New Zealand. The educator revels in the inspiration his medal has given others.

Trevor Manning

The Olympic final was the Wellington wharfie's last game in goal - he played in the outfield for Karori seniors. "1976 didn't really change my life ... I'm the same old me."

Arthur Parkin

The Aucklander, a former teacher who owns an artificial turf company, was driven on by two "humiliating" misses in the final. Had a crack at joining the European senior golf tour. Montreal opened doors and he treasures the team bonds formed.

Mohan Patel

Deputy principal at Mangere College, where he has been for 37 years. "For me, the journey was more important than the end result," he says of 1976.

Ramesh Patel

Also a teacher, the gifted team baby went on to play 123 tests and become New Zealand Hockey chief executive for 21 years. Still proud of being the first Indian in a New Zealand hockey team. "That gold medal put the icing on the cake for my career and my life."

Les Wilson

The goalkeeper, a railway worker, kept playing for New Zealand and Wanganui and only recently put down his stick. Olympic triumph didn't help financially but he still finds it "nice" when people remember 1976.

Ross Gillespie

The 80-year-old Gillespie, who owned a sawmilling business, says people are still interested in hearing about 1976 when they find out he was the coach. Gillespie oversaw the rebuilding of his and wife Barbara's home after it was wrecked by the 2011 Christchurch earthquake.

- Herald on Sunday

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