Sports Centre Saturday: Was Your Old Man a Leaguie?

Auckland city will be abuzz with excitement this weekend, February 15th and 16th as Eden Park plays host to 16 teams of athletic young men in the inaugural NRL Nines rugby league tournament . Eden Park is a sellout and no doubt for leaguies who can’t make the live event, it will be a case of getting in the beer and the pizza, and settling in for a weekend in front of the telly.

While rugby union is the number one game downunder,  League in fact has quite a heritage in Auckland and was given plenty of attention back in the day.  Flicking through our heritage database, the game was well covered in publications like the Auckland Weekly News, and a large part of that is due to what is affectionately called the “spiritual home of rugby league,” Carlaw Park.  Named for James Carlaw, the head of Auckland Rugby League, the land alongside the Domain was leased by the Auckland Rugby league from the hospital board until it was bought by the ARL in 1974.  It is currently a car park and all that remains for leaguies are the memories.

Judging from the photographs in our collection, it’s easy to see why Carlaw Park is held in such affection with events such as the 1929 test between the Kiwis and Great Britain where a whopping 28,000 fans turned up to watch the Kiwis win.

So if your old man was a leaguie back in the day, whether he played the game or was one of the thousands who travelled to Carlaw Park over its history, have a browse through our heritage images. Type in the keywords “rugby league” – and enjoy! In the meantime, here are some photographs of good times from Carlaw Park from our collection.

Carlaw Park, 1921.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

New Zealand's great football public at Carlaw Park, 1924.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

A brilliant exhibition of rugby league football, 1931.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

Watching the rugby league action at Carlaw Park, 1926.
Sir George Grey Special Collections, Auckland Libraries

This entry was posted on Saturday, 15 February 2014 and is filed under ,,,,,,. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response.

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