League club hunts for mystery kicker
The City-Newton Rugby League Club is looking to solve an old mystery before its centenary celebrations.
In the 1980s club stalwart Dennis Stewart came across an unusual photo of an unidentifi woman kicking a ball off from the halfway line at Carlaw Park.
He estimates the game was played sometime in the 1920s or 1930s because the player on the left of the referee is wearing a Newton club jersey, used before the City and Newton clubs combined in 1949.
Both clubs were formed in 1908.
Despite showing the photo to a number of older Auckland rugby league supporters, no one has been able to identify the mystery woman.
“Someone suggested it might be a mayor’s wife,” he says.
“We even sent of few copies off to Australia where these old guys live but had no positive responses.”
Mr Stewart, who has been involved with City Newton since the 1970s, says the club has a small membership these days, with just a masters and senior A team taking the field last season.
However he’s proud the senior A team managed to win its division in such an important year.
“It was huge to win a championship in our 100th year.
“I haven’t heard of any other clubs to do it.”
He says the club was competitive in the Fox Memorial club competition in the 1980s, but changing demographics have seen the loss of a huge number of players in the past 20 years.
“When the price of houses started going up in the inner city it got difficult,” he says.
“We used to have a whole team come out of one street.”
But despite difficulties in recent times, Mr Stewart is keen to see anyone who has played for or supported the club over the years join in the celebrations.
“We’re trying to look them all up,” he says.
The centenary celebrations take place at the Victoria Park Bowling Club, Beaumont St, Freemans Bay, on November 22 from 5.30pm.
If you can identify the mystery woman in the photo email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who are you? An unknown woman kicks a ball from the halfway line at Carlaw Park in the early 1900s. The CityNewton club is celebrating its centenary and would like help identifying the woman.