Foundation Auckland Warriors captain and rugby league great Dean Bell along with Samoan rugby union legend Papali’itele Peter Fatialofa will be inducted into the hall of fame at the 2019 Ōtara Sports Awards.
They will both be recognised with lifetime achievement awards before being inducted into the Ōtara Hall of Fame at the awards ceremony at Kia Aroha College on Sunday, November 30.
While Fatialofa will be inducted posthumously, Bell will attend the prestigious event which honours the sporting achievements of Ōtara sports people including athletes, administrators and coaches.
“I’m extremely proud to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our new inductees, Dean Bell and Papali’itele Peter Fatialofa for their outstanding careers and contributions to their respective sporting codes,” says Lotu Fuli, chairperson of the Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board.
“Dean and Papali’itele embodied Ōtara community values and a true trailblazer spirit. They both harnessed their homegrown talents to captain their countries and build great careers which inspired players and supporters around the world.”
The judges panel selected the accomplished duo for their sporting excellence and success at the highest level of rugby league and rugby union.
“I’m truly honoured to be recognised as an inductee to the Hall of Fame at the 2019 Ōtara Sports Awards,” said Bell, who grew up on Clarkson Crescent in the area and attended local schools Mayfield Primary School, Bairds Intermediate and Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate.
“I will always be grateful for my Ōtara upbringing. It’s a place that instilled old-school values that I’ve applied successfully during my sporting career in Australia, England, New Zealand and throughout life.”
Fatialofa resided on Cobham Crescent, before moving to Preston Road and then Charntay Ave during the period he played provincial rugby for Auckland and for Manu Samoa at the 1991 Rugby World Cup. Post-career, he coached at East Tamaki Rugby Club and completed his coaching certificate at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate.
“Our family are truly humbled by this esteemed honour for our late father,” says Jeremiah Fatialofa, the oldest of nine children.
“He was a proud Ōtara man who had a big heart to serve community through rugby. He gave his best to help East Tamaki Rugby Club and also provide opportunities to young people in the area to make a career in the game he loved.”
Bell and Fatialofa are the latest inductees to the illustrious Hall of Fame. They join Ruben Wiki, Tawera Nikau (both rugby league), Eric Rush (All Blacks and New Zealand Sevens) and Temepara Bailey (Silver Ferns) of the Class of 2017. Brett Leaver, Mark Leaver (Black Sticks Hockey) and Monique Hirovanaa (Black Ferns) make up the Class of 2018.
Nominations for the 2019 Ōtara Sports Awards can be submitted at otarasportsawards.co.nz and close at 7.00pm on Sunday, November 3, 2019. Candidates must have been a member of a club, school or live in the Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board, Ōtara subdivision in the qualifying period. All winners for the 13 sporting categories will be announced at the awards ceremony.
The 2019 judges panel is made up of Ōtara sporting and community leaders - Tagaloa Willie Maea (Chairperson, Ōtara Scorpion Rugby League), Apulu Reece Autagavaia (Ōtara-Papatoetoe Local Board), Magele Sosefina Paletaoga (Incoming CEO Ōtara Health Chartiable Trust), Judith Riki (Pouhiwa/Associate Principal Kia Aroha College) and Ian Toki (Chairperson, East Tamaki Rugby Club and Manager at Ōtara Library).
Married to Jackie, father of two children
Glittering 14-year career including stints at Wigan Warriors, Eastern Suburbs and one final season as captain of the original Auckland Warriors in 1995
Position: Centre, wing, loose forward
New Zealand rugby league international (26 tests)
Captained New Zealand in four tests including 1988 World Cup final
Wigan Warriors - 253 games, 96 tries
Auckland Warriors - Foundation captain, Warrior #1
Wembley Challenge Cup winner seven consecutive years with Wigan (three years as captain)
NZRL Player of the Year
NZ Maori Sports Personality of the Year
Man of Steel Award
Lance Todd Trophy Winner
Inducted into NZRL ‘Immortals’
Inducted into NZRL ‘Legends’
Inducted into Wigan RLFC ‘Hall of Fame’
‘This is Your Life Recipient’ (UK)
Ethnicity: Maori (Iwi, Te Arawa), NZ European
PAPALI'ITELE PETER FATIALOFA
Born Auckland, April 26, 1959
Died Samoa, November 6, 2013
Married to Anne, father of nine children
Member New Zealand Order of Merit
Manu Samoa Rugby Union international (34 games, 1989-1996)
Captained Manu Samoa at their inaugural Rugby World Cup campaign 1991
Bestowed high chief title of Papali’itele from the village of Sapapali’i, from Malietoa II, Head of State, after Manu Samoa’s success at the 1991 Rugby World Cup
71 games for Auckland after debuting in 1984 and, for the following eight years, was a member of the side during one of Auckland's most dominant eras.
Coach of the Manu Sina rugby side which qualified for the 2014 Rugby World Cup.
Technical advisor to 1st XV at Sir Edmund Hillary Collegiate.