Wellington Athletic Rugby Football Club World Tour 1966

PROLOGUE

This book has three purposes. The first is to document my personal experiences in organizing the tour and what happened in its wake. The second is to recall the highlights from a team perspective. I am sure this aspect of the book which utilizes individual players recollections will be a highlight for the reader. The book’s most important objective, however, has been to record for posterity a historic, unique and trailblazing journey undertaken by the Athletic Rugby Club.

One doesn’t need to be a rugby fan to enjoy this book. You may simply like sports stories in general. On the other hand, you could enjoy humour and travel tales. You may have an interest in getting a different slice of life in the swinging 60’s. Indeed an Historian could find our tale useful for myriad reasons as would a friend or relative of someone who played us. Maybe, the reader is just seeking some inspiration for an endeavour of their own?

There is something for almost everyone herein.

A Brief History of the Athletic Rugby Football Club Athletic Rugby Football Club was formed in 1877. They were the second oldest team in the Wellington Club competition. By 1966 Athletics’ headquarters were based in Bell Road, Brooklyn, and the clubs teams trained at nearby Nairn Park. Athletics Jubilee Cup victory in ’65 was Senior title number 16. They would win the competition twice more. In 1972 they shared the Cup with their arch rivals Wellington and won the trophy outright in 1977. The latter would be their final title before merging with Karori and Onslow in 1983 to become, “Wests Roosters.”

Wests are in decline as I write as rugby football clubs struggle to survive in an environment where there are so many other sporting options available.

In 1976 one of the club's iconic members Eric Tindill researched and published the extraordinary "History of the Athletic Football Club 1877 – 1976."

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