Club History

The club was founded in 1964 by Bernie Welch and Noel Hopgood to provide a team for the once rural area of Halswell. 

Since then the club has grown with the community and celebrates a membership of close to 1000 players ranging in ages from 4 to 80 years old with teams for males and females of all abilities.

If you have any stories or facts about the clubs history - please share them with us.

Legends who attended the 2020 function and photo:

Each year we plan to invite and celebrate with legends who have been part of the clubs history as players (at any level) or who have been contributors to the club for a significant time.

If you have been involved with the club for about 20 years or more (don’t be humble) please get in touch and come along to our next function and photo night at the clubrooms.

Dick Tennent 1965

Barry Parker 1990

Terrance Courtney 1966

Tim de Voil 1970

Garth Stearn 1991

Darrell Dermott 1978

Mike Reeve 1975

Anita Hayes 1988

Jenny Carlisle 1983

Piri Paahi  1990

Trudi Squire 1997

Joe Barrett 1968

Darren Jones 1981

Jason Scott 1979

Gary Woodden 1992

Paul Grovsvenor 1976

Dave Prangell 1975

Craig Crawford 1981

Nick Dean 1969

Peter Jensen 1975

Alan Brodie 1971

Noel Hopgood 1964

Chris Lee 1971

Glenn Hoe 1969

Beven Steven 1969

Kevin Clarke 1987

Our Life Members

Life Membership is the highest award available to recognise the exceptional contribution of individuals to Halswell United Football Club.

These individuals have demonstrated a significant and high-quality service, enhancing the reputation and future of the Club, leaving a noteworthy legacy.

1969  Bernie Welsh

1970  Noel Hopgood

1973  Derrek Scott

1977  Lester Brodie

1978  Mervin Meredith

1978  Richard Tennent

1995  Jeff Dermott

1995  Sandra Dermott

1995  Mukka Mayes

1995  Helen Ward

1982  Kevin Boyle

1990  Wayne Skelton

1997  Tony Treadwell
​​​​​​​2003  Russell Anthony
2003  Paula Heslin

2010  Trudy Murdoch
2010  Gordon Murdoch
​​​​​​​2010  Dennis Hawtin
2012  Dave Withers
2014  Craig Crawford
2016  Warren Burns
​​​​​​​2016  Garth Stearn

2018  Murray Scott

2018  Craig Bowen

2019  James Maguire

2019  Jason Scott

2020  Kevin Clarke
2021  Anita Hayes
2021  Katie Griffin


THE FORMATIVE YEARS - 1964 to 1967

The Halswell club was formed on 22.3.64 by a few keen men who could see the need of such a club in the area. The initial idea came about from conversation at Mr B. Welch's wedding anniversary. This lead to the first full scale meeting was held on 4/4/64 in the original Scout Den - which is now the site of the Halswell League clubrooms. The first committee members were: A. Greenland, G. Scott, J. Tennant, T. Moore, N. Wheeler and H. Buck. N. Hopgood was elected President, N. Boswell Treasurer and B. Welch Secretary. In the first year the club had two boys teams. One 7th grade (now known as Under 13 grade) and one 11th grade (Under 9 grade). In the older group the ages ranged from 11 to 13 years, whilst the younger group were under 11.
Subscriptions were 5/- per boy and 10/- per family, this enabled the parents to become financial members of the club.
Club colours initially were white for the first year, and as finance became available, white and green material was purchased and Mrs Welch made up the shirts. The main source of income was the sale of ‘Entertainment Cards’, but initially we had a street appeal on the 19.9.64 and raised the pricely sum of £24-9-2d. Youth Day in 1964 saw 26 out of our total of 34 boys parade at English Park.

Senior members played fortnightly on Sundays on a roster basis against company teams and our first game was on Sunday 5.4.64 against Austral Standard Cables at Wycola Park – result was a 0-2 loss. The team was N. Boswell, W. Haywood, B. Hughes, D. Jelly, M. Mitchell, T. Moore, S. Townsend, B. Thompson, P. van Dyke, B. Welch and N. Wheeler. In the opposing side was a youthful Dick Tennant who joined Halswell following season.

First year players (with number of games played):
N. Boswell (10), H. Buck (11), W. Haywood (4), B. Hughes (1), N. Hopgood (9), D. Jelly (8), M. Mitchell (13), T. Moore (8), G. Scott (8), S. Townsend (4), J. Tennant (14), B. Welch (14), B. Thompson (1), P. van Dyke (12), C. Strange (12), D. Little (6), T. Smallwood (6), J. Liddell (6), S. Dawson (6), B. Kennedy (4), C. Stallman (7), M. Cunneen (5), J. O’ Donnell (4), N. Wheeler (4).

1965 saw the Juniors expand to four teams, and 58 boys registered. They won their first competition Cup (11th grade) and also won the Verlander Cup (9th grade). This year also saw the Club use Checketts Avenue pitch, however the condition of usage was that the posts had to be taken down after every game. Needless to say after the first season we managed to persuade the Council to have them left up.
In those days fixture lists were posted in the window of the Lillian St Dairy, but were later changed to Willliams Drapery.
Times were tough and so that the club could put on an end of season party for the boys, each family contributed 5/-.

1965 also saw the Domain Board grant the club a pitch on the Domain, where the No. 1 pitch is today. But when the rain came, out came the canoes and paddles, as the drainage was virtually nil, owning to a large gorse hedge which ran the full length of the field, separating the pitch from the paddock that is our No. 2 pitch and swimming pool. Many times committee men have have had to dig holes and clear ditches to let the surface water off the playing surface. The Senior members still played on Sundays and new players this season were: P. Kenyon, D. Tennant, A. Pollitt, R. Thomas, S. Marsh, J. DeRoo, A. Rogers. Games played: 12, won 5, drew 2, lost 5.

The green band on the shirts was introduced this year and subscriptions were £1-10-0 and 2/6 per game.
Clubrooms: Our first clubrooms were started in may 1965 with the floor being laid 18’ x 12’ and timber being purchased ready for construction in the summer months. This financed by the raising of 125 £1 debenture shares. These were repaid, interest free, by 1.12.69

1966 saw the Club again expand this time to 7 Junior teams, with the Seniors still playing on Sundays. The Juniors nominated their first boys to Canterbury trials, they were Gavin Ward and Darryl Williams (both under 12). Youth Day saw the 11th grade team win the same Cup as the 1965 team. New senior players this year were M. Meredith, B. Maple, R. Stringer and M. Neville.

The seniors played 22, won 14, lost 8.

1967 saw the Club enter into the C.F.A. Competition for the first time. They were in 3rd Division B, which they won, and were promoted to the 2nd Division the following year.
Played 20 games, won 16, drew 2, lost 2.

Sunday games were also still being played for those unable to play on Saturdays.
Senior training in those days was on the front part of the Domain (adjacent to the War Memorial) under one floodlight.

Subscriptions rose sharply because of the C.F.A. Entry, £4-10-0 per C.F.A. Registered player, £2 per Sunday player plus 2/- match fee.
1967 – The Halswell Club had a chocolate wheel stall at the first New Brighton New Year Gala. A princely profit of $10 was made and the Club was left with umpteen items of leather goods. It was decided to raffle these at the Tai Tapu Hotel, and this began a most profitable venture which lasted for a number of years. Many thanks to the past “mine host” Norm Fisher, and his successor, for their infinite patience, and of course their (and our) most faithful and generous patrons.


During 1968 it was decided to double the size of our Clubroom, this was done, and it included three showers, sink-bench, a zip and storage space. At the same time one floodlight was installed for training purposes.

A comment was made in a Newsletter of the day that still had no toilets, and due to this dilemma the trees and grass around the Domain grew rapidly.

In fact toilets were not available until the opening of our newer clubroom which was opened in 1978, but more of that later.

Seniors entered two teams this year (Divisions 2 and 3). More new players arrived and also lads who had come up through the junior ranks. Namely Chris Thornhill, Scott Greenland, Richard James, Kevin Platt and Eddie Garner. New senior players this year included, D. Scott, D. Hutton, J. Smith, A. Verlander and T. Treadwell who actually coached the first team squad. Both teams finished in the top three of their divisions.

Junior strip was changed to green shorts, white socks with a 1” green band on the tops. This was to get away from Shamrock socks.

We were the first Club to take up coloured shorts, other than the normal black or white. Later the Juniors moved to green and white striped shirts, to replace the white shirt with the green hoop.

The Junior lapel and pocket badges came into being after a competition was held for the best design.


The Juniors over this period of time became fairly stable in numbers – ranging between 11 to 14 teams. They had their first Canterbury reps in the 1969 Under 12. They were Ian Hopgood, Ian Douglas and Gregory Welch. Greg Welch scored against Otago.

John Welch and Peter van Zoggle became the first members of the Club to obtain their Junior referees badge, whilst at the same time Mr Noel Hopgood became the first Halswell coach to become a qualified member of the Canterbury Coaches Association.

1970 saw the introduction of a Junior Organiser whose job it was to take some of the load off the Club Secretary. With the club having over 170 boys registered this was a wise move. More reps traveled to Mosgiel and Dunedin at the end of the season.

The Clubs A.G.M. Was moved back from February to November to coincide with the Canterbury Football Association A.G.M. Which was in the first week of December.

At the 1971 C.F.A. A.G.M. The Club put forward a remit that all fixture lists be published and forwarded to clubs prior to the season starting. This was adopted, and still stands to this day. Which makes it easy for all.

In 1973, because of the ever increasing business of all areas within the Club, it was decided that a Senior and Junior Section be created.

The Juniors would have their own Treasurer, as well as their Organiser, and be responsible for its own finances. This would then leave the Club Treasurer to concentrate on Senior club matters only.

Pitch No. 3 came into being in 1973, but for the first year the Council let it out to Suburbs Rugby who made no use of it whatsoever, and as we were requiring more playing area because of increasing numbers, we obtained it the following year.


Phase 1

Early in 1976 a decision was made by the Executive to build a new Clubrooms which was to incorporate a lounge, bar, kitchen, toilets and storeroom. Plans were drawn up and a start was made on the foundations on Saturday October 9th, 1976 using voluntary labour. The block laying and steel frames were contracted out. The ‘Gaffer’ of the project was Paul Brown, and he organised the materials and plant needed, labour was organised by the committee so that there were working bees every Saturday over the summer until the start of the football season.

Such good progress was made that the roof was on and finished by the start of the 1977 season. The following summer (1977/78) funds were rather low, and little work was done apart from the doors, inside and out, being hung to close the building off. It became apparent during 1978 that a loan would be needed to complete the project, and also extra help, in the form of carpenters should be co-opted.

The loan was raised, and Paul Brown obtained the help of fellow builders, and excellent progress was made to the extent that the toilets were operational by June 1978. Thus started the well patronized ‘Toilet Night’ socials, thanks to the President of the day Lester Brodie.

During the following summer 1978/79, the inside of the Clubrooms were completed, with carpet being laid and final touches to the bar and kitchen. The Clubrooms were then deemed to be in full use by May 1979. As no records were kept of who did what, it has been decided that names of major contributors to the work, other than Paul Brown, should not be recorded here, as it would be inevitable that a name would be forgotten. It goes without saying that, as in all organisations, a few did the lions share of the work, and even today a few of the same few are still active members of the Club. These people can be justifiably proud of their contribution.

Phase 2

When the time came to replace the ‘old shed’ and build new changing room facilities, the decision was made to contract a builder to erect the shell (a wise move). The internal work to be done by voluntary labour. Peter Scott Ltd, the contractor started work in December 1985 and the shell was finished by April 1986. The dressing rooms were not completed inside, but showers were installed and seating provided for the beginning of the 1986 season. As with the main Clubrooms all labour from the time the contractor left was supplied by a few Club members working whenever free time was available. The dressing rooms were completed during the summer of 1986/87, and after the loan had been refinanced the upper area was completed in October 1988.  Now that the whole complex is finished, the Halswell Club has facilities second to none in the soccer fraternity in the South Island. All this being achieved within a period of 12 years, no mean achievement for one of the youngest clubs in Canterbury. The present members of this club and assuredly the future members owe a debt of gratitude to the foresight and industry of the Executives and helpers over this period.

1969 saw the Club’s first team promoted once more, this time into the Div. 1 of C.F.A. Competition, this time coached by A. Taylor. Through-out the years up to 1982 the first team progressed gradually into the Southern League under the guidance of several coaches which included T.Treadwell, B. Yates, K. Pahi, M. Middlesitch, J. Evans, M. Lawson, R. Proven and D. Cooper. The Club’s other open grade teams increased in numbers over the same period, and at one stage were fielding five teams plus an Under 18 youth team. Some names that come to mind out of that era are P. Gilbertson, G. Storer, Drew Reid, R. Withers, P. Welford, D. Jury, K. Binns, Murray and John Rose, Phil Teasdale, Mike Fitzsimmons, Dennis Tullet, Grant Jackson, Dennis Tindley, G. McMasters, H. Monahan, John Stephens, Mark Lanauze, Lindsay Wilson.