History corner: We proudly honour Chris Rayner, a true football enthusiast whose remarkable journey spans over six decades.
Chris Rayner began his football career at the age of five in 1961 playing for Mt Colah Football Club where he played as a goalkeeper. Chris was then selected for the Ku-ring-gai District Soccer Association (KDSA) representative team. Chris played for Mt Colah for 11 years, participating in a variety of premierships and gala days, many of which Mt Colah won throughout his time with the club. During his time at Mt Colah juniors, Chris also played for the KDSA representative team for 6 years against other Sydney associations.
When Chris was 14, he attained his Referee ticket, which allowed him to referee for the Northern Suburbs Football Association (NSFA) and Football NSW State League. Chris would referee for the next 30 years, eventually joining the referee committee as a junior and senior Appointment officer. Chris would go on to play for the Hornsby RSL for 3 years under the coaching of Stan Bowman and the management of Lionel Morris. Following this, he played at Asquith Soccer Club with Ben Stringer as coach playing for the Mens All Age Division 1 team.
In 1977 he married his wife Wendy, and in 1979 while he was living Berowra, he began coaching the under 12’s team at Berowra Football Club; this team included Angelo Poulos, Craig Cottrell, Gavin Roots, Peter Makila, Steve Smith, and Dave Larosa. Chris would continue to coach this team for the next six years; at the same time, he both played for Berowra and served as the Vice President of the Club Committee. Chris also coached his sons’ teams – Brad and Andrew – until 1993. In 1994 Chris became prominent within the NSFA, serving on the All Age Committee as the over-35 liaison officer and from 1995 to 1998, he served as the All Age Committee Chairman. From 1996 to 1998, he served as the Women’s Liaison Officer for the teams playing in the Gladesville-Hornsby association, which returned to the NSFA in 1999.
In 1999 Chris became the Women’s registrar, and in 2000 he became the Vice President of the NSFA, which lasted until 2002. From 2002 to 2004, he served as President of the NSFA as well as the President of the Northern Tigers, which he had established along with Gary Foster. From 2005 he served as President and Vice President of the Sydney Branch (covering amateur football in Sydney) where they heard the appeals of the various associations. In 2008 he was honoured with a Life Membership of the NSFA recognising his contribution to the game in the association.
Chris also served as the PD&DC chairman from 2008 to 2011 and again from 2013 to 2014. From 2009 to 2012, Chris served as Vice President of the Association and from 2013-2015 he served as President of the NSFA again. Since 2015, Chris has served as a member of the PD&DC Committee member. Outside of the association, Chris served five years in the early 2000’s at Football NSW as PD&DC Chairman for the Amateur League and sat on the Football NSW Appeals Committee.
In total, Chris has been associated with Football in the region for the past 62 years. We thank Chris for his incredible contribution to the NSFA over this period which has helped to establish the NSFA as a leading football association in Sydney.