Club History

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2011: Douglas Ballie
Douglas Ballie

Doug Ballie was awarded life membership at the 75th Jubilee in June 2011.

1986: Matt Hosie (deceased)
Matt Hosie

He represented Southland as a player and was vice president of the club as well as serving on numerous club committees.

1984: Esme Ottley (deceased)
Esme Ottley

The wife of the late Doug Ottley, Esme was a foundation member of the Thistle Women’s Club, and was a fundraiser for that section. She also chaperoned Southland women’s representative teams.

1977: Hec Mckinnel
Hec Mckinnel

Represented Southland as a player and coached Thistle club and Southland junior representative teams. He is a former club captain.

1975: John Bowie (deceased)
John Bowie

A long-serving former secretary and treasurer of the club, John was also secretary of the Invercargill City combination. He also served as vice president of the Southland Football Association.

 

 

 

 

 

1974: Bill McLean
Bill McLean

Bill is son of one of the original members of thistle as a player Bill represented Southland and North-Otago . He coached Thistle club teams , Coached and Managed Southland representatives teams

He is a former Club Captain , President and Secretary-Treasurer. A life member of the Southland Football Assn and has also been the president and a forerunner to the southland Junior Football assn he was Southlands delegate to the NZFA .

 

Bill is also a patron of the Southlands Referees association.

1974: Doug Ottley (deceased)
Doug Ottley

1974:Doug represented Southland and New Zealand as a player while a member of the now defunct Brigadiers club. Later he played for Thistle but was mostly involved in coaching. He coached many Thistle club teams, and also Southland representative teams including senior, junior and women. He also coached the Invercargill City combination. Doug was a former club president and vice-president of the Southland Football Association.

 

 

 

 

1971: Arthur Crofts (deceased)
Arthur Crofts

One of the original club members, Arthur represented Southland as a player. He also coached Thistle club teams and was a former club captain, president and patron.

 

 

 

 

 

1968: Dave Mcmurdo
Dave Mcmurdo

The son of one of the club’s original members, Jock. Dave represented Southland as a player a record 50 times. He also played for Otago and the South Island. He is a former club captain, president and secretary-treasurer.

 

 

 

 

 

1964: Bill Ferguson (deceased)
Bill Ferguson

One of the original club members. Bill represented Southland as a player and also managed Southland teams. He was a former club secretary and also president and chairman of the Southland Football Association. A holder of the New Zealand badge as a referee he was a life member of the Southland Referees’ Association and was a former president of that association. Bill was also a former president of the New Zealand Referees’ Association.

 

 

 

 

1959: Larry O’Rorke (deceased)
Larry O’Rorke

A key figure in the establishment of Thistle. He represented Southland and Otago as a player, coached Thistle teams, and was a club captain. He coached and managed Southland representative teams. A life member of the Southland Football Association. Former president chairman, secretary and treasurer of the association, Larry was also a ‘former New Zealand Football Association council member. He won the 1960 Southland Amateur Sports Trust’s sports administrator of the year award. The S.F.A.’s all-weather park at Sandy Point was named in his honour.

 

 

 

1939: Dave Stewart (deceased)
Dave Stewart

Thistle’s first life member, he was a former club secretary, treasurer and chairman of the Southland Football Association.

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Bobby Almond
Bobby Almond

Bobby played more then 40 for New Zealand from 1978 and was a member of Thistles 1982 national league team .

He was the All Whites vice-captain during the teams history -making campaign to reach the World Cup finals in Spain 1982 . He captained New Zealand in several mathes including an international against the League of Ireland at surry park invercargill in may 1982

 

 

 

 

 

Charlie Steele
Charlie Steele

A shining example of a lad from the minor associations of

New Zealand sport making it to the big time is the legacy left by former Invercargill Thistle and New Zealand soccer player Charlie Steele who passed away on Jan 6th this year.

Born in 1930 Charlie spent his days as a youngster in Stockton on the West Coast of the South Island from where he learned to blend his natural sporting skills with his father’s fine tuned coaching to become a top athlete and footballer.

His father Charles a migrant from Ayrshire in Scotland had excelled at the round ball code representing New Zealand in two games against a Canadian touring team in 1927.

Charlie’s decision to concentrate his talents as a youth to the football field had spin offs for both rugby union and football (soccer) on the West Coast.

 

His Saturdays were spent playing club and provincial rugby on both sides of the great divide for his Stockton club and as a Buller representative while on Sundays it was soccer that drew his attention inevitably gaining selection in the Westland team involving more trips across the mountainous divide.

His rugby prowess was rewarded with selection at centre three quarter for Buller against the 1950 touring British Lions. He marked Dr J Matthews a star of the Lions tour that year in a 24-9 loss to the visitors that is rated one of Buller’s best performances against a touring team.

His sojourns to Christchurch were not without fulfilment though as he enjoyed the hospitality at the Excelsior Hotel and began courting the landlord’s daughter Beverley whom he eventually married.

The exchange of inter provincial sporting fixtures led to games against the Southland soccer team both in Westport and Invercargill where Southland’s “Mr Soccer” Larry O’Rorke spotted Charlie’s talent and offered him a chance to move away from the West Coast mines to a job with the carpentry division of the Invercargill City council. The offer was accepted and Charlie continued his life and sporting career in Invercargill where both sports were played on Saturdays and where he proudly wore the Stewart tartan strip of Thistle.

 

Chosen for South Island teams to play the North in 1953 and 54 Charlie’s performances gained him selection in the New Zealand team for a 12 game tour to Australia in 1954.

When Charlie made his New Zealand debut it was the first time a father and son had worn the National colours.

He played 10 of the 12 games and his crowning glory was described thus in a newspaper report on the1st test played before a packed house at the Melbourne showground.

“New Zealand made a sensational start scoring twice inside the first seven minutes. King rose high to head in a Steele corner kick. That goal coming after five minutes and two minutes later Steele himself netted. Australia’s only goal came 15 mins from full time.”

Charlie was accompanied on this tour by Invercargill Brigadiers mid-fielder Bob Morrison.

In subsequent years he toured to New Caledonia and Tahiti and played numerous home games for New Zealand.

His time in Invercargill was punctuated by a two year stint in Christchurch where he was lured north by the ambitious Western club that was setting the pace in local competition. A personal ambition to win a prestigious Chatham Cup final medal was never fulfilled by Charlie although he did play in South-Island finals with Western and later in two with Thistle.

Back in Invercargill he found time to coach Thistle junior teams, a Marist girl’s team and of course was a star player in a very good Thistle men’s team. Although it was matched most of the time by an equally good Brigadiers unit.

These were halcyon days for Southland soccer as games between the foes drew hundreds of people to the sidelines.

Charlie took on the role of player-coach at the Thistle club when incumbent Doug Ottley became coach of the newly formed Invercargill City composite team. His (Charlie’s) coaching career was short in time but strong on success as he led the Thistle team in 1969 to the treble of Senior and Second grade titles and the South Island Chatham cup final against New Brighton for which it earned the Churchill rose-bowl.

He continued to play an active role in soccer until the age of 43.

Not one to give up on activity easily, Charlie was enticed to take up lawn bowling by his uncle Brian Lavery and joined the Waverley club. Apart from a time when he was caring for his wife Beverley through her illness he was a thirty eight year club member.

As well as being a more than capable bowler he willingly offered assistance with jobs around the club from greenkeeper assistant to maintenance handy man to running a winter indoor tournament at the clubrooms.

During his time there he won the club novice singles title, champion pairs with Brian Lavery, champion triples with Doug Muirhead and Bob Swinney and champion fours with Norm O’Grady, Jack Plunket and Bob Swinney.

A close friend described Charlie’s interaction with people as having dazzled them with his skills, enlightened them with his wisdom and entertained them with his humour, and that about sums up the character that was Charlie Steele.

Charlie Steele played in 23 football games for New Zealand (15 while with Thistle and 8 with Western), scoring 12 goals, South Island 6 – 3 goals, South Island minor association selection 1, Buller 7 – 4 goals, Canterbury 21 – 17 goals and Southland 24 – 19 goals.

His wife Bev passed away in May 2003,

Stu Munro.

Debbie Mathieson
Debbie Mathieson

Debbie was the first women Southlander to play for the New Zealands womens team she played against Australia in Auckland and was a member of the team which finished runner up at the World Invitation Womens Tournment in Taiwan in 1981. Debbie is the daughter of two life members the late Doug and Esme Ottley She is married to Chris Mathieson a former Senior Mens Captain and to the best of our knowledge she is still the only Southland women to play for our country at soccer.

 

 

 

2011 Awards
2011 Awards

Senior Men
Thistle Supporters Club Footballer of the Year Stephen Black
Rob Ken Trophy Most Improved Player Cody Watkinson
Kingsadore Merit Cup Craig Sutherland
Rowan Scott Memorial Trophy Most Conscientious Player Josh Collins
Doug Ottley Memorial Trophy To Goal Scorer Richard Sutherland
Larry Ororke Memorial Trophy Club Personality Darren Dummigan
Premier Grade Most valuable Player John McCarroll
Division One Most Valuable Player Todd Findlater
Division two Most Valuable Player Gavin McLeay

 

Senior Women
Players Player of the Year Meceala Fraser
Most Improved Player Nicole Morgan
Most Valuable Player Andy Smith
Top Goal Scorer Mecaela Fraser & Hayley Munro
2014 Awards
2014 Awards

Senior Men

Thistle Supporters Club Footballer of the Year Darren Dummigan
Rob Ken Trophy Most Improved Player Richie McEntee
Kingsadore Merit Cup Carla Meehan
Rowan Scott Memorial Trophy Most Conscientious Player Tracey Clay
Doug Ottley Memorial Trophy To Goal Scorer Dylan Meehan, Todd Findlater, Mark Lemon, Ali Smith
Larry Ororke Memorial Trophy Club Personality Andrew Crawford
Rob Keen Fair Player Michael Ladbrook
Premier Grade Most valuable Player Darren Dummigan
Division One Most Valuable Player Andrew Crawford
Division Two Most Valuable Player – Cleanways Callum Feeley
Division Two Most Valuable Player – Blue Morgan Vine

Senior Women

Players Player of the Year Claude Van Dam
Most Improved Player Sam McKenzie
Most Valuable Player Elizabeth Hamlin
Top Goal Scorer Vanessa Hamlin
2015 Awards
2015 Awards

Senior Men
Thistle Supporters Club Footballer of the Year Ali Smith
Rob Ken Trophy Most Improved Player Josh Coulthard
Kingsadore Merit Cup Ben Johnson
Rowan Scott Memorial Trophy Most Conscientious Player Douglas Ballie
Doug Ottley Memorial Trophy To Goal Scorer
Larry Ororke Memorial Trophy Club Personality Regan McRandle
Rob Keen Fair Player Karl Owens
Premier Grade Most valuable Player Todd Findlater
Division One Most Valuable Player Gareth Scott
Division Two Most Valuable Player – Cleanways Sean Fraser

 

Senior Women
Footballer of the Year Andrea Smith
Most Improved Player Pikihuia Ruffell
Most Valuable Player – Senior Team Vanessa Hamlin
Most Valuable Player – Development Team Sarah Johnson
Top Goal Scorer Vanessa Hamlin

Senior

DONALD GRAY MEMORIAL CUP
Senior Grade Championship since 1950

1953 Thistle & Brigadiers 1955 Thistle
1960 Thistle 1961 Thistle
1962 Thistle 1963 Thistle
1964 Thistle 1965 Thistle
1966 Thistle 1969 Thistle
1970 Thistle 1971 Thistle
1972 Thistle & United 1973 Thistle
1976 Thistle 1977 Thistle
1982 Thistle 1984 Thistle
1990 Thistle 1993 Thistle
LARRY ORORKE CHALLENGE CUP
Challenge Trophy in Senior Competition since 1971

1971 Thistle 1972 Thistle
1973 Thistle 1975 Thistle
1976 Thistle 1977 Thistle
1981 Thistle 1982 Thistle
1988 Thistle 2011 Thistle
CHURCHILL ROSE BOWL
Awarded to Southland team that progresses furthest in the NZ National Chatham Cup

1960 Thistle 1961 Thistle
1962 Thistle 1963 Thistle
1965 Thistle 1966 Thistle
1967 Thistle 1969 Thistle
1970 Thistle & United 1973 Thistle
1976 Thistle 1978 Thistle
1979 Thistle 1980 Thistle
1981 Thistle 1982 Thistle
1983 Thistle 1986 Thistle & Queens Park
1987 Thistle & Waihopai 1993 Thistle
1994 Thistle 1996 Thistle, Queenspark & Waihopai
1998 Thistle 2003 Thistle
CHARITY CUP
Knock out Competition opened to all Southland Football clubs

1937 Thistle 1938 Thistle & Mataura
1939 Thistle 1946 Thistle A & Boys Bridage Old Boys
1947 Thistle 1949 Thistle
1951 Thistle 1953 Thistle
1962 Thistle 1963 Thistle
1964 Thistle 1966 Thistle
1967 Thistle 1968 Thistle
1969 Thistle 1976 Thistle
1982 Thistle 1990 Thistle
1991 Thistle 1993 Thistle
1994 Thistle 1995 Thistle
1996 Thistle 2007 Thistle
JUBILEE CUP
Last regular season match between Thistle and Waihopai to commemorate the match played 4th June 2011 during 75th Jubilee

2011 Thistle 4-2 2011 Thistle 4-0
MANGAN CUP / TE AU TROPHY
Senior Grade Championship Runner Up since 1926

1937 Thistle 1949 Thistle
1950 Thistle 1951 Thistle
1952 Thistle 1957 Thistle
1957 Thistle 1975 Thistle
2001 Thistle
BILL MCLEAN SOUTHERN LEAGUE TROPHY – DISCONTINUED
Highest Placed Southland team in Southern League 1979 to 2000

1979 Thistle 1980 Thistle
1981 Thistle 1982 Thistle
1994 Thistle
SOUTHLAND CHALLENGE CUP – DISCONTINUED
One round competition for clubs 1923 to 1948

1937 Thistle 1938 Thistle

Senior Reserve/Division One

PRESIDENT CUP
Senior Competition until 1949 and then Second Grade Competition (Division 1)

1938 Thistle 1946 Thistle A
1947 Thistle Tartan 1950 Thistle
1951 Thistle 1957 Thistle
1966 Thistle 1967 Thistle
1971 Thistle 1973 Thistle
1974 Thistle 1975 Thistle
1976 Thistle 1980 Thistle
1981 Thistle 1982 Thistle
1983 Thistle 1984 Thistle
1985 Thistle 2007 Thistle
2008 Thistle 2010 Thistle
EDINBURGH CUP
One round competition for Senior Reserve grade since 1990

1990 Thistle 1994 Thistle
1995 Thistle 1995 Thistle
2007 Thistle 2008 Thistle

Second Grade/Division Two

FREEMAN/PATRONS CUP
Second Grade Competition

1960 Thistle 1969 Thistle
1971 Thistle & United 1972 Thistle
1973 Thistle 1974 Thistle
1977 Thistle 1982 Thistle
1984 Thistle 1992 Thistle
1993 Thistle 1994 Thistle
2003 Thistle 2007 Thistle
2008 Thistle 2010 Thistle
SOUTHLAND FOOTBALL DIVISION 2 CUP
Second Grade Top 6 round since 2009

2009 Thistle
HERBERT SMITH TRUST CUP – DISCONTINUED
Second Grade Competition 1953 to 1992

1955 Thistle 1956 Thistle A
1963 Thistle 1964 Thistle
1969 Thistle 1970 Thistle
1972 Thistle 1973 Thistle
1974 Thistle 1980 Thistle
1982 Thistle 1983 Thistle
1984 Thistle 1990 Thistle
DRESDEN CUP – DISCONTINUED
Junior Competition 1911 to 1921, Second Grade Competition 1946 to 1967

1951 Thistle 1960 Thistle

Other

INVOLVEMENT IN REGIONAL LEAGUES

YearDivisionPlacedTeams

1968 2nd 4th 8
1975 1st 9th 8
1976 1st 4th 8
1977 1st 9th 8
1979 2 South 2nd 8
1980 1 South 4th 8
1981 1 South 1st 8
1982 1 South 8th 8
1983 1 South 10th 8
1985 1 South 8th 8
1986 1 South 8th 8
1987 1 South 9th 8
1991 2 South 6th 8
1992 2 South 10th 8
1994 Otago/Southland 3rd 8
1995 Otago/Southland 6th 8
1996 Otago/Southland 9th 8

Thistle was promoted to Rothman’s National Leaque in 1982. They finished 10th.

Year Presidents Secretaries Treasurers
1936 H Smith M O’Rorke
1937 H Smith M O’Rorke
Mr O’Rorke resigned, D Stewart appointed Secretary /Treasurer
1938 M Lewis D Stewart D Stewart
1939 M Lewis W Holding W Holding
Mr Lewis resigned, D Gray appointed President
1940 D Gray W Holding W Holding
Club recessed for duration of war
1946 W Holding W Ferguson
1947 W Holding W Ferguson
1948 R M Kelman A J Harvey
Mr Ward resigned G Ballie appointed Treasurer
1949 R M Kelman A J Harvey
1950 R M Kelman A J Harvey A J Harvey
1951 R M Kelman A J Harvey A J Harvey
1952 R M Kelman A J Harvey A J Harvey
1953 R M Kelman A J Harvey A J Harvey
1954 R M Kelman A J Harvey A J Harvey
1955 A J Harvey K Willocks K Willocks
1956 A J Harvey C Hunt C Hunt
1957 P Hosie C Hunt C Hunt
1958 C Hunt W McLean W McLean
1959 P Hosie W McLean W McLean
1960 P Hosie D McMurdo D McMurdo
1961 C Hunt D McMurdo D McMurdo
1962 D Ottley R Dick R Dick
1963 C Hunt N Patterson N Patterson
1964 A Crofts J Bowie J Bowie
1965 A Crofts J Bowie J Bowie
1966 D McMurdo J Bowie J Bowie
1967 D McMurdo J Bowie J Bowie
1968 W McLean J Bowie J Bowie
1969 W McLean J Bowie J Bowie
1970 W McLean J Bowie J Bowie
1971 W McLean J Bowie J Bowie
1972 W McLean J Gill J Bowie
1973 J McAtear Chris Ward Chris Ward
1974 Lance Howley Chris Ward Chris Ward
1975 Lance Howley Ian Rive Chris Ward
1976 J McAtear Ian Rive R Dick
1977 J McAtear D Lawson R Dick
1978 Athol Elliot D White R Dick
1979 Athol Elliot J Smart R Dick
1980 Alan Cundall J Smart R Dick
1981 Alan Cundall J Smart D White
1982 Alan Cundall J Smart D Simpson
1983 Fred Simpson G Mark G Simpson
1984 Wayne Thomsen J Mathieson Chris Ward
1985 Wayne Thomsen J Mathieson Chris Ward
1986 Wayne Thomsen Ken Smith Chris Ward
Mr Ward resigned G Ballie appointed Treasurer
1987 Wayne Thomsen Ken Smith Gordon Ballie
1988 Wayne Thomsen Ken Smith Gordon Ballie
Mr Ballie resigned R Kalders appointed Treasurer
1989 Wayne Thomsen Ken Smith Ken Smith
1990 Wayne Thomsen Gerald Mathieson Ken Smith
1991 Wayne Thomsen Ken Smith Ken Smith
1992 Wayne Thomsen Ken Smith Ken Smith
1993 Brian Devlin Phil Pasco Phil Pasco
1994 Brian Devlin Douglas Ballie P Newell
Miss Newell resigned R Hay appointed Treasurer
1995 Bob Mexted Douglas Ballie Richard Hay
1996 B Mexted Douglas Ballie Lesley Rayner
1997 S Collins Douglas Ballie Lesley Rayner
Mrs Collins resigned Bob Mexted appointed President
1998 Bob Mexted Douglas Ballie Lesley Rayner
1999 Bob Mexted Douglas Ballie Lesley Rayner
2000 Douglas Ballie Douglas Ballie Lesley Rayner
2001 Peter Sutherland Douglas Ballie Lesley Rayner
2002 Peter Sutherland Douglas Ballie Douglas Ballie
2003 Peter Sutherland Douglas Ballie Douglas Ballie
2004 Peter Sutherland Douglas Ballie Douglas Ballie
2005 Peter Sutherland Douglas Ballie Douglas Ballie
2006 Peter Sutherland Douglas Ballie Douglas Ballie
2007 Peter Sutherland Douglas Ballie Douglas Ballie
2008 Peter Sutherland Douglas Ballie Douglas Ballie
2009 Peter Sutherland Douglas Ballie Craig Sutherland
2010 Dylan Meehan Douglas Ballie Craig Sutherland
2011 Dylan Meehan Douglas Ballie Craig Sutherland
2012 Dylan Meehan Douglas Ballie Craig Sutherland
2013 Dylan Meehan Douglas Ballie Craig Sutherland
2014 Dylan Meehan Douglas Ballie Craig Sutherland
2015 Dylan Meehan Douglas Ballie Craig Sutherland