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In 1976 Limehills Rugby Club celebrated 50 years with a look back at 50 years of history that they are really proud of. The club has had great followers of the years and is still going today. The first All Black to grace their changing rooms was Arthur Woods who was selected in 1953 and he toured the British Isles and North America.
Here are some of the great players the club has produced:
Des Langford, who gained national honours with selection in the New Zealand juniors and also played half back for Southland 1971-1972. His death in 1973 was a blow to the club and the community.
Ron Ward went on to national honours in 1937 after playing for Limehills in earlier years. He was a forward but played on the wing against the Springboks and showed a lot of pace and agility.
C.A. Woods, played for Southland 1951-56
Dave Saunders, played prop for Limehills, where he captained the team and Southland 1973-79.
Greig Spencer, who had previously played for Pirates and located to Limehills when he took over his parents hotel, The Benmore Hotel. He played for Southland from 1958-67 and was a centurian with 107 games.
Murray Mitchell, Southland 1970-76 and 1979
Murray Groundwater, later played for Pirates, had 8 games for Southland in 1985-86
The great thing about country clubs is that you see familar names always coming through and Limehills was no exception with the likes of Patrick, Wilson, Woods, Kelly, McAuley, Shand, Swale, Harris, Hamilton, Cairns, Boylan, Moylan, and many others.
The club started from the inspiration of Mr I. R. Lewis who was a school teacher in the district, and was elected first president in 1926. Mr Jack Town was the first secretary and Mr P. de la Perelle (MP) was the first patron.
The club entered junior teams in the central competition and the first seniro team consisted of "Spud" Murphy, fullback, an ex Star player, Riley Reid, Bill (Scotty) Wilson, Sid Carter, Bill Egerton (the first captain), Jim Casey, Sam Payne, Bill Locherbie, "Sandy" Boyd, Winks Reid,
Bill Nicoll, Eddie Crowe, Alf Bromley, Charlie Cathcart, Jack Town and Hughie Doherty.
This team won the competition in their first year and ended the season with a victory ball.
The club grew with the likes of George Kettle and Joe Reid gathering in players from as far away as Lora Gorge where the sporting family, Overtons lived, at about this time Hec Diack came to the club and was still a strong member in 1976.
Other players to give great service to the club are; Charlie Wilson, Herbie Hammond, Bob Thomson, Fred Carter, Jack Bartlett, Jimmy Kean, Bert Grimwood, Joe Payne, Gordon Stewart and Bob Ward.
Reference: The Southland Times July 1976
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