Jets and Phoenix unite to honour victims of mosque tragedy

The Wellington Phoenix and Newcastle Jets have united to honour the victims of the Christchurch mosque terror attacks.

Tomorrow night’s Isuzu UTE A-League match between the Jets and Phoenix falls three days after the third anniversary of this tragic event.

Newcastle have agreed to reserve 51 seats at McDonald Jones Stadium in a tribute to those who lost their lives on March 15, 2019. Each seat will bear a name of one of the deceased.

Newcastle Jets Executive Chairman Shane Mattiske said: “As a Club, we want to support the initiative launched by Wellington Phoenix to recognise the anniversary of the tragedy that occurred in Christchurch back in March of 2019.

“Acknowledging the loss of the Christchurch community and the impact of such a terrible act on all in New Zealand, and around the world, is extremely important. As a Club and a sport, we promote inclusion and community harmony. 

“By standing alongside Wellington Phoenix in remembering this tragedy, we hope it assists to further promote the importance of our communities coming together and supporting each other.”

Wellington Phoenix General Manager David Dome is grateful to the Jets for their support.

“We have a great relationship with the Muslim community in Wellington – thanks in part to our ‘Football for All’ community programme – so it is important for us to stand in solidarity with them in the days and years following this unthinkable tragedy,” Dome said.

“As we’ve been unable to play at home again this season, the Newcastle Jets have been fantastic in working with us to continue the club’s tradition of honouring the 51 fallen, this time at McDonald Jones Stadium.

“We thank them for the compassion and support they’ve shown with organising this tribute.”

The Phoenix first chose to honour the victims of this tragedy on March 17, 2019, donning black armbands in an highly emotional match against Western Sydney Wanderers at Sky Stadium. Both teams stood united in a circle on the halfway line prior to kick-off, with Dave Dobbyn’s “Welcome Home” playing over the loudspeakers, followed by a moment’s silence.

It was a tribute the club repeated on 15 March 2020 at Sky Stadium to mark the one-year anniversary, and last year the Phoenix joined together with Western Sydney to honour the victims at CommBank Stadium in Sydney.

Tomorrow night’s match between the Wellington Phoenix and Newcastle Jets will kick-off at McDonald Jones at 7:45pm AEDT (9:45pm NZT) and will be broadcast live on Sky Sport 2 in New Zealand and on Paramount+ in Australia.