New Zealand football legend Wynton Rufer was a welcome guest of fellow Kiwi Winston Reid at the npower Championship visit of Brighton & Hove Albion last season.

Rufer, who was voted Oceania Footballer of the Century and enjoyed a successful playing career in Germany, Japan, Switzerland and his homeland, was a pioneer of New Zealand football when he signed for Norwich City in 1981.

Unfortunately, the teenager did not receive a work permit to move to England, opting instead to join Swiss club FC Zurich in May 1982.

Later the same year, the striker appeared for the All Whites at the FIFA World Cup in Spain, appearing in group-stage defeats by Scotland, the Soviet Union and Brazil.

After seven seasons in Switzerland, where he scored a total of 87 goals for Zurich, FC Aarau and Grasshopper-Club Zurich, Rufer joined German Bundesliga high-fliers SV Werder Bremen in the summer of 1989.

The forward proved a hit at Werder, forging a potent partnership with Klaus Allofs as the club won the UEFA Cup Winners' Cup in 1992.

The following season, 1992/93, he finished joint-top scorer in the UEFA Champions League and helped Werder to the league title.

After a short but successful spell in Japan with JEF United Ichihara in 1995 and 1996, Rufer returned to Germany with Kaiserslautern before finishing his career in his homeland with Central United and North Shore United and Australian National Soccer League club Kingz.

The former Werder Bremen striker came along to the 6-0 win over the Seagulls complete with a group of talented players from the Wynton Rufer Soccer School of Excellence.

The school has been running for more than 15 years in New Zealand, with bases in Auckland, Wellington, Hawkes Bay, Christchurch and Dunedin offering coaching for youngsters aged five to 17. Rufer also has contacts at Academies in Germany and Japan.

Wynton Rufer