Workingmen's club's roots in football side

Last updated 16:32 15/05/2014

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OPINION: Credit is due to the members involved in organising the Invercargill Workingmen's Club 50th jubilee celebrations.

Although the club takes its origins back to the Corinthian Football Club, little seems to be known about the football club's playing record.

One record states that the first meeting of the club was in 1924, but Southland Football records show that when senior football (soccer) resumed after World War 1 in 1921, Corinthians was one of four teams that contested the competition, and indeed emerged the winner.

It won the senior competition many times during the 1920s and 1930s, and provided Southland with its first New Zealand representative when Ted Cook was selected to play against Australia in 1922.

Cook also played for New Zealand against Chinese Universities in 1924, as well as R Gwilliam, a fellow Corinthian. Another Southlander, Wattie Cooper, of the Rangers club, also played against the Chinese.

A split developed in the strong Corinthian club at the conclusion of the 1936 season and some of its best players were involved in forming the Thistle Association Football Club, the oldest football club in Southland today. The weakened Corinthian team battle on for another two seasons but did not field a team in 1939 or in subsequent years. It did continue as a social club, however, and the rest is history.

Iris Robinson has done an excellent job in editing the 50th anniversary book of the Invercargill Workingmen's Club, and I strongly recommend that members obtain a copy.

BILL McLEAN
Invercargill

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- The Southland Times

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