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Club History

February 29, 2008


Prior to 1961, all games were played at Aymes Road and in 1958-1960, a playing field was added in Mr Parker's land (now Parker Street). The club owned an old army hut in Amyes Road, which was used for all purposes, But had no water or toilets.March 1961 was the year the club moved from Amyes Road to Denton Park. Mr Denton, from Russley Road, donated all the land, except the front sections, which he sold cheaply to Paparua County Council. Mr Denton's granddaughter is married to Colin Defillipi of Harness racing fame. Colin and his brother Micheal played most of their primary school rugby for the Hornby Club. In 1961, The Club had a forth grade team and seven school boy teams.On shifting to Denton Park, players used the concrete block building under the Hornby Cricket Pavilion. Committee meetings were held in Ron Glasson's (the then Club President) garage in Taurima Street.

In the period 1961-1967 or 1968, the Hornby Working Mens Club gave to the Club the old house that the Working Men's Club used before building their first clubrooms. This building was sited where the HWMC outdoor bowling club Sports Hall is today, and was used as the first Hornby Rugby Club Clubhouse.In the years 1961-1967, British Pavements (now Fulton Hogan) was owned by the Paterson Brothers. They were very keen on cycle racing and developed Denton Oval at a very low cost to the council. In the years 1965-1967, we made an offer to the Albion Club which was then located in Beckenham, and were looking to shift to join with us (Ian Purdon was an ex Albion player) but this came to nothing, Albion moved to Riccarton and tied up with Riccarton High School and we found that all of our players that made Riccarton High School senior teams ended up playing for Albion.About the year 1965 we started have a good under 16 team coached by Ian Purdon and Ray Fowler, with an under 15 team coached by W Cherry.

Committee records should show that in the year 1966, (or 1967 or 1968) we joined with an Air force team and we had a very good senior reserve team in 1969. Also in this year, the club applied to the Rugby Union for senior status, but was refused. This was a very hard time for the Club as in 1970 our top players left the club and the Air force players returned to Wigram.In the years 1966-1967, we could not convince the Canterbury Rugby Union to use Denton Oval for senior football, as it is smaller than the standard field. When Jack Story became president of the Canterbury Rugby Union he said why not have a trial, Senior Rugby has played there ever since. He was only the president of the Union to attend a committee meeting of our club.In the years leading up to 1970, we did not have any voting rights the Canterbury Rugby Union and only little contact. Our man on the J.A.B had no voting rights, but this changed very suddenly with the arrival of Tom Webster from Southland who was an All Black Fullback from 1948-1950.

Being elected to J.A.B our contact with the Union was good. Tom was one of the main movers in having the South Island under 16 and 18 grades started.In 1970, The commonwealth Games Committee approached us about getting our clubrooms built so as they could use them for the 1974 Commonwealth Games. The Paparua County Council updated Denton Oval and built the stand. In 1970 we were lucky to draw players from St Thomas' for our under 18 team coached by David Kennedy. He had played all his primary rugby for Hornby but we lost him to Riccarton High-Albion, where he played until a knee injury finished his playing days. This team was running up in the grade. In 1971 we were in the top six in the tough High School first fifteen grade and in 1972 we were runner up in the under 20 grade. Also in the years 1970,1971 and 1972 we fielded a Senior Reserve team but did not win a game.

The clubrooms were finished late in 1973 but we were not allowed to use them as the Commonwealth Games Committee had first call over them. The 1973 Senior Reserve team, after losing their first three games, won the next 10 games, a lot of them very easily and we were taken up to Senior Grade. They played three games, winning one, and it was this team that made seniors in 1974.In August 1975, half of the lounge roof was blown off in a Nor-West gale.In 1978-1978, Toby Anderson coached the senior team. This year saw the introduction of red shorts for the Senior team only, and the nick-name "Red Devils".In 1980-1982, Doug Frampton was the senior coach.In 1981 the 25th Jubilee year stated the tradition of the Prize-giving dinners with the first being held at the Clubrooms.

Other venues were the Trust Hotel, Riccarton Park, Addington Raceway and the Hornby Working Men's Club. There was a wide variety of guest speakers including Fred Goodall, Bobby Almond, Derek Jones and Mervyn Glue, as well as many Rugby Celebrities.In the period 1982-1984, Neil Hamilton cached the Seniors.In 1985-1987 John Phillips coached with Lamen Hohaia as captain. Semi-professionalism was now taking over with a major sponsor "Branston Auto" supplying the coach with a car. 1986 also saw Neville Wilson play 200 Senior games for the Club. Hornby's touch module starts.In 1986-1987, Wendy Chalmers becomes the first lady Club Captain "IN THE WORLD" 1988-1991 saw John Te Amo coaching the senior team.

The falling numbers of playings wishing to play senior rugby and a strong Metro competition made these years very hard for the club. Simon Christie moves to play for Hornby after making the New Zealand under 19's.1992- No Senior team entered into the Metro Competition with the top open grade being 3rd grade coached by Robbie Haugh and Jeff Dunshea.1993-1996, The senior team was coached by Ces Patrick and Ernie Goodhue. The senior team entered the Ellesmere competition, And with a new young team things started to take shape. Results including winning the Division 2 plaque in 1993 and runner-up in Division 1 in 1995. 1995 also was the year the Club introduced the new playing strip. 1995- Hornby enters a Ladies team coached by Kay Goodhue and Jamie Baird, into the Sunday competition. This competition changed to Saturday in 1998.In 1997-1998, Phil Cross coached the Senior team. Semi finalist Ellesmere Div1 1997. Won the Coleman Shield 1998. 1997 also saw the Hornby under 16 team win the 1st Division Schools under 16 competition, a huge effort from this team.1999-2001 Gary Cooke and Stew Ward coached the Senior team.

These years were by far the best years of the Club's history. Results included winning the Ellesmere competition three times and the Combined Ellesmere/Mid Canterbury competition twice while being runner-up on another occasion. Division 3 also won 5 consecutive years in Ellesmere from 1999-2003. 2001 also saw the Colts win Division3 and the Ladies win Division2.2003 saw the club refurbished with the lowering of the ceiling and new air-conditioning. The colts team coached by Russell Scott and Doug Mathie lost the final.Up to 2004, Hornby won the Coleman Shield 5 times an 8 years, with Phil Cross being the first senior coach to win this shield.2005 Dean Taylor plays 200 senior games for the club.