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Ken Fleet was given the captaincy of the Eastern Suburbs AFC premier team in 1950, that team heralded the start of our clubs first ‘golden era’ by becoming the dominant force in New Zealand football. The foundation of our men’s premier results was founded on a pathway strategy, developing and bringing through club members from an early age and graduating them into our premier team. Under Ken Fleets captaincy coupled with the clubs development programme, Eastern Suburbs won four straight league titles and saw Eastern Suburbs win the Chatham Cup title for the first time in 1951, which they repeated in 1953.
During Eastern Suburbs Chatham Cup seven game run in 1951, the team scored a spectacular 41 goals, including an 8-0 demolition of the much-heralded Petone team who had won the Cup just two years earlier, that game was described by Soccer magazine as ‘one of the most astonishing anti-climaxes ever witnessed on Blandford Park’.
Of that ‘golden era’, Ken Fleet noted: ‘We were undoubtedly the best team in Auckland over a period of eight or nine years. We didn’t necessarily have the best players, but we had the best combinations.
Ken Fleet was one of our club’s first ever All Whites when he was selected for New Zealand’s highest footballing honour in 1951, he went onto win six full NZ caps. By playing 162 games for the Lilywhites, Ken is also one of our most capped players, during his career he scored 115 goals for our club. His son Warren also pulled on the Lilywhite kit amassing 149 caps, just 13 games less than his father.