Keryn Jordan - Gone but not forgotten

Words: ACFC Media

Tuesday 20 October 2020

AUCKLAND, New Zealand - Tomorrow marks seven years to the day since Auckland City FC legend Keryn Jordan passed away.

Jordan, who played for Auckland City FC from 2005 to 2010, returned to South Africa in January 2013 to be with family following news that his cancer had worsened.

Club chairman Ivan Vuksich remembers a top quality footballer who served the Navy Blues with distinction throughout his career.

"On the playing field Keryn was more than just a first class football player - he was a genuine entertainer who when in full flight brought pure joy to the hearts of those who were fortunate enough to see him play," Vuksich said.

While Jordan's goalscoring exploits were well-known throughout Africa and Oceania, it was his friendship and personality that touched the football community everywhere that made the biggest impression.

"Keryn was far more than just a football player to everyone at Auckland City FC.

"He was a unique individual that touched the hearts and lives of so many people at our club.

"Keryn developed so many strong friendships with people right throughout the club be they players, coaches, administrators, sponsors or supporters but to many people he was much more than just a friend, he was like a brother and a son. He was family," an emotional Vuksich added.

Jordan was integral during the club's early domestic successes as the Navy Blues won two national league titles in 2006 and 2007.

Capped by South Africa and with a South African national league and golden boot title with Manning Rangers, he also appeared for Moroka Swallows.

Jordan relocated to New Zealand in 2004 and joined rivals Waitakere United before making the switch to Auckland City the following season.

His influence on the pitch helped guide the club to two OFC Champions League titles in 2006 and 2009, scoring hat-tricks in both finals against Tahiti's AS Pirae and Koloale of the Solomon Islands.

Jordan also appeared for Auckland City at two FIFA Club World Cups, one in Japan in 2006 and then as a squad player when the club finished 5th in Abu Dhabi three years later.

He also shared a pitch with Zinedine Zidane, Youri Djorkaeff and Christian Karembeu during Karembeu's testimonial match in Noumea, New Caledonia, in 2008.

By then, Jordan's struggle with cancer, an illness he had managed carefully since the age of 25, started to take its toll.

That struggle was watched by a select few close to the Pretoria-born striker who kept Keryn's desire for confidentiality and privacy to their word.

Ivan Vuksich said his admiration for the talented athlete knew few bounds.

"The courage and fighting spirit that Keryn displayed throughout his illness will forever be an inspiration to all those who knew him.

"Keryn Jordan has left an indelible legacy at Kiwitea Street. He was a unique individual who lived life his way and was loved by so many," Vuksich said, "Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family now as we farewell a man who will be remembered as one of Auckland City FC's greatest."

Keryn's son, Liam, who represented Auckland City FC's youth team, made his international debut for South Africa on July 7, 2017, in a 1-0 win over Namibia.

The 22-year-old has earned four caps for Bafana Bafana including matches against Malawi in which he scored a penalty in a 5-4 shoot-out victory on 7 June 2019.

His other caps came against Tanzania (lost 0-1) and Botswana (lost 5-4 on penalties after a 2-2 draw). 

He now plays in Denmark with HB Køge which is ironically located in the Zealand area. 

Born on November 1, 1975, Keryn Jordan passed away in Pretoria on October 21, 2013, aged just 37.

Ends

Elements of this article were first published in October 2013.

Keryn Jordan
Date of birth/deceased: 1 November 1975 - 21 October 2013
Birthplace: Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Position: Striker
Previous clubs: Pretoria City (RSA), Manning Rangers (RSA), Moroka Swallows (RSA), Waitakere United (NZL), Auckland City FC (NZL).
International Caps: 1
International Goals: 0
International debut: vs. Botswana won 2-1, 1999. 
Club appearances: 80
Club goals: 62

Milestones
Keryn Jordan is the only player to score hat-tricks in two separate OFC Champions League finals. He netted a treble against AS Pirae in a 3-1 win in the OFC Club Championship final ion May 21, 2006 as the Navy Blues secured their first Oceania title. Jordan repeated the effort in the first leg of the OFC Champions League final with Koloale on 25 April 2009 in Honiara, Solomon Islands, as the Navy Blues romped to a 7-2 win. 

Honours
FIFA Club World Cup Japan 2006
FIFA Club World Cup UAE 2009
OFC Champions League 2006, 2009
ISPS Handa Men's Premiership 2005-06, 2009-10
ISPS Handa Men's Premiership league title 2005-06
ISPS Handa Men's Premiership Player of the Decade 2004-2014
ISPS Handa Men's Premiership Team of the Decade 2004-2014
South African Premier League 1996-97
South African Premier League Golden Boot 1997-98
Auckland City FC Golden Boot 2005-06, 2008-09
Auckland City FC Supporters Player of the Year 2007-08
Auckland City FC Personality of the Year 2007-08

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