The name Rory Fallon will forever be etched into New Zealand sporting folklore after the 28-year-old scored just on half-time with what proved the only goal in either match of New Zealand's FIFA World Cup™ play-off against Bahrain. It was a remarkable rise to fame for the English-based striker who had only made his All Whites debut two months prior to last November's historic qualification.
Despite being the son of former All Whites coach, and Spain 1982 assistant coach, Kevin, the powerfully built striker represented England at youth level. After increasing success and first-team action with Plymouth Argyle, Fallon made his New Zealand debut in a 3-1 win over Jordan in Amman last September, winning a penalty for the All Whites first goal and scoring the second. Fallon started the first leg against Bahrain in Manama before being substituted in the second half but the real drama was at home in the nation’s capital Wellington. After missing a good opportunity with a header, Fallon quickly made amends by rising above the pack to direct Leo Bertos’ perfect corner powerfully into the pack of the net and creating history within an instant.
Starting out at Barnsley as a 17-year-old, Fallon found only intermittent success in the lower leagues of England with Shrewsbury, Yeovil, Swindon and Swansea before finding his feet at The Pilgrims.
Fallon has Maori blood, on his mother’s side, as do a number of All Whites team-mates. A muscular presence in the forward line Fallon is strong in the air and will be a target at set-pieces.