England U-17 and West Ham shot stopper Sam Howes and attacking centre Danny Whitehead inched themselves around a narrow platform 192 metres above the ‘City of Sails’.
Nervous before the start of the walk, the players soon got into the groove of the sky high adventure that offers 360-degree panoramic views of New Zealand’s largest city and beyond.
West Ham’s Danny Whitehead 192 metres above Auckland
Howes even took up the challenge of leaning out from the platform, letting go of the harness ropes and giving a happy thumbs up for the cameras.
The SkyWalk is one of New Zealand’s premier adventure activities – giving visitors the chance to experience an extreme adventure while enjoying one of the best views in the North Island.
Breathtaking views of Rangitoto Island, Auckland’s iconic Harbour Bridge, the Waitemata Harbour and the Hauraki Gulf beyond are just a few of the sights that can been seen from the SkyWalk. The guided jaunt also provides a unique insight into Auckland and the iconic Sky Tower – one of Auckland’s tallest and most-adored landmarks.
West Ham and England U-17 goalkeeper Sam Howes on the SkyWalk
Speaking after the walk, Howes said he was really pleased he took up the challenge.
“Beforehand I was frightened as anything, but I thought the SkyWalk was really good.
“We did a paper-scissors-rock contest to decide who would do the walk, me and Danny (Whitehead) won. I feel really good about myself for giving it a go.”
West Ham United, who are currently in New Zealand for the Football United Tour, arrived in the country on Saturday (19.07.2014). Since their moving Māori welcome, the team have been busy preparing for their pre-season friendly against the Wellington Phoenix at New Zealand sporting fortress Eden Park on Wednesday.
The likes of Andy Carroll, Kevin Noland, Carlton Cole and New Zealander Winston Reid have engaged with local fans during open training sessions at Auckland’s North Harbour Stadium.
West Ham striker Andy Carroll is mobbed by New Zealand fans
This is the first time in 29 years that an English football team has travelled to New Zealand. For most of the players it is also the first time they have been in this part of the world – and they’re loving it.
“It’s a great country,” Howes said. “There’s lots of culture about it and everyone in New Zealand has settled us in really well.”
“We’ve got (Winston) Reid in our team so he knows more about New Zealand than us – but it’s a real privilege to be out here wearing a West Ham badge.”
Football United Tour
West Ham will take on the Wellington Phoenix at Eden Park on Wednesday (23.07.2014) before heading to New Zealand’s capital city Wellington.
Fellow Premier League team Newcastle United have also travelled to New Zealand for their pre-season tour.
Newcastle will face Sydney FC at Dunedin’s Forsyth Barr Stadium on Tuesday (22.07.2014) before taking on the Wellington Phoenix at their home ground – Westpac Stadium – on Saturday in a historic double header with West Ham who face Sydney FC.