New Zealand sports administrator Bill MacGowan passes away, aged 66

MacGowan. Photo credit: Photosport

Respected sports administrator Bill MacGowan passed away on Friday, aged 66.

MacGowan had a considerable influence across a number of sports at a boardroom level, as a former chief executive of New Zealand Football, New Zealand Golf, and the Warriors.

He was forced to step down from his most recent role as Auckland Football Federation CEO in July 2017, after illness took its toll.

A chief executive of the then-Auckland Warriors in 1997 and 1998, the side will pay tribute to him before Saturday night's match against the Wests Tigers at Mt. Smart Stadium.

Former Warriors coach Frank Endacott remembered MacGowan as a gentleman who wasn't afraid to make the difficult calls.

"We had tough times in those days," Endacott told Newshub. "We didn't have the money to spend on players like they do now, but he handled it perfectly.

"Everyone loved Bill - he made tough decisions and we stuck with him."

MacGowan immigrated to New Zealand as a seven-year-old from Scotland in the 1950s and became heavily involved in the local football scene, first as a player and then as a coach.

He was twice named Auckland's Coach of the Year.

A service for MacGowan will be held at the Omaha Golf Club, north of Auckland, at 2pm Thursday.