You know you've made it in Wellington when you get a puppet made in your likeness at the Backbencher. So we can say, without fear on contradiction, that Ricki Herbert has made it - read on:
The puppet-master of Kiwi football has found himself at the other end of the strings.
All Whites and Wellington Phoenix coach Ricki Herbert – who played for the All Whites at the 1982 World Cup – has been immortalised as a puppet at Wellington's Backbencher Pub and Cafe.
The puppet, which cost about $5000, has taken pride of place on a soccer ball throne above the fireplace. At the unveiling last night, Herbert seemed amused by the likeness, and relieved that some of the hallmarks of his playing days were not included on the puppet.
"No eighties moustache, and no tight shorts." It was a pretty good resemblance. "I wouldn't say it's too far off the mark."
We reckon it's pretty good likeness as well, even if the puppet's creators have been generous to Herbert with the hair colour! Herbert joins the likes of Sir Tree Meads and Christian Cullen as sporting stars honoured by the Backbencher, once of our favoured Wellington watering-holes.
Whilst the World Cup is just a few weeks away, we REALLY looking forward to the All Whites' match against the Socceroos in Melbourne on Monday week - that should be a ripper for Ricki Herbert's band of men.