Art & Entertainment | Book Reviews | Education | Entertainment Video | Health | Lifestyle | Sport | Sport Video | Search

 


Legend holds keys to league museum

Legend holds keys to league museum

Few can claim to have had as much of an impact on New Zealand rugby league as Don Hammond.

These days, Hammond is best known as curator of the Rugby League Museum, housed on the ground floor of NZRL headquarters in Penrose.

But he's also regarded as one of the best to ever appear for the NZ Kiwis, playing in the second row from 1959-65.

A former five-eighth who converted to the forwards in search of game time for his Mt Albert club side, Hammond was outsized by most of his opponents, but this didn't stop him enjoying incredible success in the Kiwis jersey.

"I never cared where I played, as long as I was on the field," he recalls about his position switch.

Known as an old-fashioned type of player who tackled hard and low, Hammond, alongside Ronnie Ackland and Mel Cooke, was part of one of the most effective back-row combinations in New Zealand rugby league history.

He debuted for the Kiwis on the 1959 tour to Australia, before captaining the squad just two years later on the famous 1961 European tour. On this tour, Hammond established himself as a pivotal figure in the Kiwis team, when he helped guide them to a shock win over Great Britain in the first test.Don H

Next, he captained the side to their first test series win against France on French soil, a feat Hammond describes "one of his proudest moments in the Kiwis jersey".

He played 61 times for his country, including 20 test-match appearances, and was one of the true stalwarts of the 1960s Kiwis.

A recipient of the 1964 Auckland and national player-of-the-year awards, Hammond was inducted into the Legends of League in 2010, further establishing him as one of the best to ever play for New Zealand.

Following his retirement from playing, Hammond went on to coach Te Atatu, as well as an Auckland representative side, before becoming heavily involved with the New Zealand Kiwis Association.

This eventually led him to his current line of work.

Hammond played a crucial role in establishing the Rugby League Museum, as he - along with former team-mate and ex-Kiwis fullback Jack Fagan, collected and organised a vast array of New Zealand rugby league memorabilia that, until that point, had been locked away in storage.

The initial idea for the museum came all the way back in 2002 and it took several years of hard work before it could be opened in 2007.

New items continue to be donated to the museum, including one of the original Carlaw Park turnstiles, which "appeared out of the blue one morning".

Every item in the museum has its own unique story and its own special place in New Zealand League history, and it is hard not to feel nostalgic walking around looking at the exhibits.

Thanks largely to the ongoing work of Hammond, the museum now houses a comprehensive collection of New Zealand rugby league artifacts, from as far back as the early 1900s right through to the professional era, and is a must-see for any die-hard league fans.

SIX OF THE BEST

Over coming weeks, we'll feature some of Hammond's favourite Rugby League Museum exhibits and the stories behind them.

Here are half a dozen to look out for during your visit to the museum open day on August 24.

Captain William John McNeight's 1938 jersey

These jerseys were the first to have the white "V" around the collar and were also were the first instance of having the silver fern point out towards the sleeve. The jersey was donated by a member of McNeight's family and is currently the second-oldest jersey in the museum's possession.


Courtney Trans-Tasman Trophy


This trophy features an elaborate silver cup on top of a beautiful wooden stand. The stand contains a variety of native woods from both Australia and New Zealand, as well as paua inlays. The trophy was last contested in 1972.

1930 Courtney Football Trophy

This trophy was originally given to the Kiwis by R O Courtney Esq in appreciation for allowing him to come on tour to Australia. The trophy was played for in an inter-island competition within New Zealand.

Brian Reidy's boots from the 1961 European tour

The boots have sharp aluminium sprigs that the players had to nail in before a game. When asked if it hurt to be rucked by one of these, Hammond replies that it "hurt a lot less then than the leather sprigs they had even before that".

Ruben Wiki and Tana Umaga-signed jersey and photograph

This exhibit marks a nice coming together of both codes from two great New Zealand icons. The photograph was actually donated to the museum by Ruben Wiki himself.

2003 Women's Rugby League World Cup

One of many trophies won by the Kiwi Ferns, this cup is one of the most impressive in the entire museum.

ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Culture Headlines | Health Headlines | Education Headlines

 

Eddie Izzard: UK Comedy Legend Returns

Hailed as one of the foremost stand up comedians of his generation. Star of stage and screen. Tireless supporter of charity. Runner. Political campaigner. Fashion Icon... February 2015, Eddie Izzard will bring his massive FORCE MAJEURE world tour to New Zealand with tickets going on sale at 10am on Tuesday 28th October. More>>

Festival Starts 28 Oct: Improv Fest Makes Up New Show

For any other festival, finding out less than two weeks from showtime that half the cast of a programmed show can’t make it to New Zealand would be a nightmare. Instead, the New Zealand Improv Festival Director Jennifer O’Sullivan saw an opportunity ... More>>

NZ Music Awards Finalists: Lorde, Sol3 Mio Top 2014 Tuis Charge

Lorde has taken the music world by storm during the past year and she co-leads the 2014 Tui charge with five finalist spots. Joining her is newcomer family opera trio, Sol3 Mio. They are followed closely by Ladi6 and David Dallas, both up for four awards each. More>>

From 'Luther' Creator: Major New Zealand Crime Series For BBC

Libertine Pictures and writer Neil Cross have teamed up with leading international TV producer Carnival Films to develop a major new crime series set in Rotorua. Libertine will develop the contemporary drama series with Carnival, producer of internationally-acclaimed British period drama Downton Abbey, for the BBC. More>>

ALSO:

Family Statement: Death Of Ewen Gilmour

“Ewen was a much loved and cherished member of our family, he was a larger than life character and by his very nature was kind, generous and always giving of his time to those who asked for his help." More>>

ALSO:

Auckland: St. Jerome's Laneway Festival - Line-Up Announced

Traversing seven cities and three countries, the festival has well and truly settled into its home in each state. From the grassy knolls and towering silos at home in Auckland, to the sparkling backdrop of the Maribyrnong... More>>

Scoop Review Of Books: No Longer An Island

Simon Nathan reviews 'Zealandia: Our Continent Revealed': The idea that New Zealand is part of a large submerged continent is not new... There was renewed interest in the extent of offshore New Zealand from the 1970s onwards with the start of offshore drilling for oil and gas, and this was given impetus by a UN agreement which allowed countries to claim an Extended Continental Shelf (ECS). More>>

Art: Simon Denny Recreates Kim Dotcom’s Personal Effects

Who owns what? How has the internet changed our relation to the world? These are two of the many questions Simon Denny raises in the latest exhibition at the Adam Art Gallery, opening on Saturday 4 October. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
Culture
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news