Three Northland sporting icons are now guaranteed a permanent place in the province's history annals after they were named inaugural inductees to the Northland Legends of Sport last night.
Rugby players Sid Going and Peter Jones and table tennis great Neti Traill were named as the first three inductees to Northland's version of the Sports Hall of Fame.
The announcement was part of the annual Northland Sports Awards Dinner held in Whangarei last night along with the major sports awards for the year.
Black Caps cricketer Hamish Marshall - in Australia with the national side - won the supreme award, the sportsperson of the year, with Athens Olympian Sharon Ferris picking up the sportswoman of the year for her form in the yngling class yachts this year.
But the highlight of the evening was the naming of the three inaugural Northland Legends of Sport inductees.
Traill, now living in Christchurch, was part of New Zealand's first official women's team to attend a world championships in 1964. She won more than 100 championship titles throughout the country in a career that lasted more than a decade.
Going, known to many simply as "Super Sid" was an All Black whose career spanned a decade from 1967 to 1977.
He played 111 games for Northland, including two Ranfurly Shield tenures, in a career that included 250 first class games, 86 of those for the All Blacks (including 29 tests) in 11 countries and others for the North Island and New Zealand Maori.
He went on to coach the Northland team to two appearances in the NPC second division finals and in 1976 won an MBE for services to rugby while still actively playing.
Peter Jones, who died in his sleep aged 62 at his home in Awanui 10 years ago, is most famous for a post-match interview where he produced the line: "I'm absolutely buggered" after scoring a try to beat the Springboks at Eden Park in 1956.
He first became an All Black in 1953 when he toured the British Isles and by the time a groin injury ruled him out of the 1960 All Blacks tour of South Africa he had played 37 matches and 11 tests.
In a career that spanned 13 years he played 79 matches for Northland.
Northland Legends of Sport panel chairman, Brent Eastwood of Sport Northland, said the idea of honouring Northland's sporting greats was an exciting concept.
The plan now, he said, was to develop a public area where these Legends of Sport and any future inductees can be honoured, and to forward Northland inductees to be nominated for a spot in the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.
"The panel is looking to develop the concept further. We hope to be able to display the feats of our inductees in a public place," Eastwood said.
"We have got such a great history in sport and we need to recognise it more," he said.
More than 30 code awards and several other major awards were announced at the function last night.
A full list of the award winners will be published in Monday's Super Sport edition of the Northern Advocate.