Hawke's Bay stalwart Terry Parkin has hit out at the apathy among soccer clubs in the province in supporting the flagship franchise team in the national summer league.
"If I've got any disappointments then it is that a lot of the clubs haven't supported Hawke's Bay United in terms of coming along to the games," Parkin lamented after franchise chairwoman Paula Walker paid tribute to the former Rovers player, coach and administrator during the halftime break of the Bay United v Canterbury United Dragons match at the Bluewater Stadium, Park Island, yesterday afternoon.
Walker announced the franchise had awarded him a life membership after he resigned as a long-serving Bay board member last season.
"We didn't expect any financial help from the clubs but we just wanted them to be involved and take it up," said Parkin. "It seems the winter footballers don't want to come along and be involved with summer football."
Parkin said he had enjoyed his 11 years on the board.
"I had helped Colin Stone in the change of the membership from Napier City Rovers members only to all the other clubs," said the 63-year-old retired insurance company manager, "who has been living the dream for three years", of the former board chairman and head of Sport Hawke's Bay.
Parkin said he had stepped down for no particular reason but thought it was an opportune time for someone else to step up.
Before the kick-off, the sides waited patiently for TV to allow them on to the arena before they observed a minute's silence as a mark of respect for both provinces' earthquakes - the Bay in 1931 and Canterbury's in 2011.
The penultimate ISPS Handa Premiership round 16 home game was the team's only televised match this season.
Napier Marist FC had their club day, featuring in the match programme with player Ben Lack who was profiled in Hawke's Bay Today on Saturday but didn't play because he was enrolling at university in Wellington.