It's been a big month for Barrie Truman.
He's celebrated a milestone 85th birthday, released his book The Way We Were tracing his life and his 55 years of football coaching, and just last week was made a life member of Capital Football in Wellington.
But this is just the tip of the iceberg for a career in football that has spanned 55 years from club to national level for the Waikanae retiree.
Hailing from Grantham, a little town in Lincolnshire, England, Barrie was born into a working class family where playing football on the streets was just a normal part of his childhood.
Set to come to New Zealand to work for the University of Otago and help out with their football programme, it happened to be that the New Zealand national team coach had just resigned, leaving the team needing a new coach.
His name was put forward by Otago, and before Barrie set foot in New Zealand he was appointed the national coach for the New Zealand team in 1970.
"It was a great honour for me to be able to coach at that level," he said.
"It was a high point in my career and an incredible experience."
Barrie held the role for nine years, from 1970-1979, taking charge for 49 games with a 20 win, 13 draw and 16 loss record.
During his time he also worked for the Rothmans Sporting Foundation and part of his role was coaching coaches, mentoring many big names including Kevin Fallon.
While coaching the national team Barrie was part of a ground-breaking tour of China in 1975.
With political relations between the two countries and between China and FIFA on the line, "It was the year when China made friends," Barrie said.
"People weren't going to China in those days and to get the opportunity to spend three weeks going through China was a phenomenal experience.
"Me and a load of Kiwi lads and ex-pat Poms who were in the team travelled through China for three weeks which was an incredible experience.
"We learned so much about life and culture in China and played about 10 games, only losing one.
"The one we lost was in the Chinese stadium which held 91,000 people.
"The incredible thing was we played the game at 9.30am in the morning because so many Chinese worked through the evening and came out of work at about 9am, coming straight to watch the game."
Playing at an unusual time and in front of 91,000 spectators, the most ever to watch a New Zealand sports team in action (up to that time), is an experience Barrie still remembers clearly.
His time as the national team coach came to an end in 1979 when the New Zealand Football Association relocated from Wellington to Auckland and Barrie decided not to make the move with them.
It was then that he began his club coaching career, taking on a role with Wellington Diamond United for 10 years, winning the National League in 1981 and 1985.
Many of his methods and coaching techniques were touted as revolutionary at the time with the 1985 win particularly significant as it was the first time a completely New Zealand side had won the National League.
His emphasis on youth development showed with the average age of the team being just 23 years, a record for the time.
He also introduced his players to the beep test, using his own car horn for the beeps, at times running the battery flat.
Barrie's honours include winning the Chatham Cup with the Miramar Rangers in 1992 and the Hilton Petone Cup, a preseason tournament, 11 times with the Diamonds and Rangers.
Retiring to Kāpiti 20 years ago, Barrie spent many of his retirement years coaching at both Paraparaumu College and Kāpiti College.
"Playing football when I was growing up in the working class streets of England was just what you did.
"The richer people in the middle class who went to grammar schools played more rugby, but because we were playing on the roads we tended to play football, it was easier to play on the streets."
Releasing his book, Barrie talks about the teams he's coached and has written it as a way to remember and honour those he's met and coached along the way.
Players include Wynton Rufer, Billy Harris, Malcolm Dunford Ceri Evans and Richard Romijn from Wellington Diamonds United who all achieved full New Zealand honours.
Other notable players included John Barry, Tony Buick-Constable, Ross Durant, Greg Fleming, Steve O'Donoghue, Brent O'Neill, Kevin Nash and Gary Welch.
His latest achievement of life membership of the Capital Football Association was presented last week at Capital Football's AGM.