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And at Woodend last Sunday, the Christchurch Football Club’s golden oldies, The Gentlemen, also observed a minute’s silence to remember teammate Nigel Mahan.
The death of the 50-year-old father of two from St Albans, following a heart attack on April 1, cast a shadow over the opening round of the club’s fixtures and the veteran’s first run around.
Mahan represented North Otago as a centre, wing and fullback before moving to Christchurch in the late 1990s to play in the club’s social grades, initially for the Canardlys.
“He leaves a massive hole in our teams and our club,” said Christchurch FC chairman Mark Thompson, a former teammate.
With boots clean and always at the ready, Mahan also coached and managed junior grades at the club before organising the golden oldies squad.
He was also set to manage the premier reserve team this season.
The Metro Premier side provided a fitting tribute, beating Burnside 26-11 while the premier reserves were also too strong for their Burnside counterparts, winning 38-19.
“He gave plenty. He was always there to lend a hand or step up when no one else did,” Thompson said.
Mahan was also mourned by the North Avon Christchurch BMX Club, which he joined in 2005 when son Connor started competing.
He was recently made a life member of the BMX club in recognition of his work in helping establish new facilities at the headquarters in Bexley after they were devastated by the earthquakes.
“When the 2011 earthquakes hit and wrecked the facility, the club lost everything,” club president Mark Lewis said.
“Nigel led the charge to pick up the pieces and start again, guiding the club back to a successful hosting of the 2014 South Island Titles on a ‘repaired’ track with generators and water carts.
“At the same time, Nigel’s passion and drive was instrumental in securing funding for the construction of the fantastic new facility at the northern end of Bexley Reserve.”
“Everyone who knew Nigel knows he was very supportive and had great advice,” rider Imanuel Abdel Malak said.
“He supported from day one with my riding, right up to the most recent nationals (in Rotorua last month). We will all miss him dearly.”
“He encouraged and supported every member from the littlest sprocket to the ones old enough to know better,” Lewis added.
“He was the backbone to many large events and the 2020 Nationals would not have been a success without him.
“Nigel put his heart and soul into North Avon BMX and he played a huge part in so many club members’ lives. He will be sorely missed by the entire BMX community.”
Mahan is also survived by his wife Nina, daughter Chantal and Connor.