Past and present members of Tauranga United Football Club unveiled an honours board in celebration of the clubs 50 years.
Mayor Greg Brownless, and past presidents Ron Boyle, Tony Pill, current president Paul Bates, past presidents Mark Bougen, George Morris, and Paul Smyth were all on hand for the unveiling on Saturday.
Founded by Jack Bryan in 1967, the club has survived amalgamations and the loss of their previous home ground at Wharepai Domain, to become the leading football club in Tauranga.
Past and present presidents: Mayor Greg Brownless, and past presidents Ron Boyle, Tony Pill, current president Paul Bates, past presidents Mark Bougen, George Morris, and Paul Smyth.
Life member and past president Mark Bougen joined the club in 1975 and jokes he was the “general dogs body” making sure everything ran smoothly.
“It's changed a lot since those days. Playing in the Northern League, most of our opposition are in Auckland.
“Every second week we are up on a bus to Auckland, and that hasn't really changed over the years.”
Mark says it was a long trip home after the games.
“The Red Fox was the watering hole on the way back in those days. They were good times.”
The club used to play at Wharepai Domain up until 200.
“It was just a one ground and one clubroom situation. The club was very family orientated in those days and, socially, it was a really good environment.”
The social side of the club has changed a lot, says Mark.
He believes financial constraints and new drink driving laws have played a big factor in the way people socialise today.
“We are up against clubs in Auckland, which have hundreds, if not thousands, of junior club members.”
Mark says he has seen a lot of change during his time in the club and says “being here 50 years later is an amazing thing”.
“When you become a club, it becomes part of your life. You take it into your heart and it becomes a way of life.”
Life Members: Mark Bougen, Kelvin MacDonald, Ross Lattaway, Tony Pill, Ray Bradford, Richard Gray, Peter Morrow, John Whitley, Ken Adams, Mayor Greg Brownless, and Ron Boyle.