Footy champs of 1912

Photo of Gordonton Rugby Club 1912

WHAT a grand looking team.  Here is photographic proof, supplied by Hamilton City Libraries Perry Rice.

The year, says Perry, is 1912 and the occasion is the senior team winning the Hamilton Rugby Union Championship.  This team reigned supreme in 1912. Its record for the season was nothing less than enviable: Matches played: 10; Won: 9; Drawn: 1; Points for: 94; Points against: 9.

The very obvious thing is they did not lose a match the entire season and with points against at less than 10% of points for, they must have been seen as a real challenge by their opponents!

If memory serves me at all, I think a try in those days was three points with two points for a conversion so other teams could have breached the line once or as many as three times. But, at 94 points, when you apply the scoring of the day Gordonton achieved a great deal more than it may at first appear.

Gordonton does indeed have a glorious past. But, whatever happened to the club? Little is known to us of the Gordonton Rugby Club – we have no jubilee or centennial booklets as we do for so many other clubs around the country.

In a mammoth project underway in the Heritage section indexing the Waikato Times for 1950-59, we have so far captured two sets of results from 1950 including Gordonton club by name: ‘Hamilton Old Boys, also unbeaten so far, disposed of Gordonton on the latter’s grounds’ The results schedule shows: ‘Hamilton Old Boys 22 – Gordonton 0’ (Waikato Times 5/6/1950) then later in the season: ‘Gordonton defaults to Old Boys’ (Waikato Times 7/8/1950).

The chaps in this photo are: Back Row: Geo Welch (President), J. Roach, H Farrelly, W McLeod, P Flynn (Referee), R Miller, W Clarkin, W Welch, A Peacocke (Secretary).

Second Row: L Farrelly, Roto, W Hall, J Hall (Captain), A Cook, H Morris, G McIntyre.

Front Row: A Salmon, Huia Peacocke (Mascot), J Ryan, W McIntyre.

This is another photograph posing questions about our past. What happened to the club? Where did all the people go for so many years? The flax industry died; farms became mechanised; roading improved; transport improved and smaller communities like Gordonton lost out to these elements – what a loss to the country.


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Number 8 Network - a community website for the rural areas northeast of Hamilton, NZ, is run by Gordonton journalist/editor Annette Taylor.

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