Tom McNab Trophy looms

South Auckland Rangers and Ellerslie will contest the 2016 edition of the Tom McNab Cup Final at MeLennan Park, Papakura on September 18.

The Tom McNab Trophy pits two of the region’s league winners against each other in a one-off match, with Ellerslie qualifying by denying all challengers in the Men’s Championship competition and South Auckland Rangers securing their spot by doing likewise in the AFF Counties Manukau Conference League.

The Tom McNab Trophy was originally put up for competition in 1983 for inter-provincial clashes between Auckland and Franklin and later Counties-Manukau.

After the two provinces merged when federation-based football was introduced, the trophy went into recess, but was revived in 2005 for inter-club competition.

The Tom McNab Trophy has been played for every year since then and celebrates the life of a former Auckland and New Zealand captain who had a long association with the Eastern Suburbs club.

A talented centre-half, McNab starred during the 1960s and early 70s before a knee injury brought his playing career to an end.

A highlight was captaining New Zealand in a match against the famous Manchester United in 1967 – a star-studded team including the likes of Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best and Denis Law which went on to become European champions that year.

Last year, Uni-Mount Bohemian Celtic have lifted the Tom McNab Trophy after defeating Beachlands Maraetai 3-1 in an entertaining final at William Green Domain.

Goals from Peter Devlin, Paul Durno and David Ferguson allowed the victors to claim a comfortable winning margin in the end but they were made to work hard for their success by a Beachlands side that had its fair share of the play.

Tom McNab (1933-2006)

The man behind the Tom McNab Trophy

Tom was born in Glasgow, Scotland and his first professional club was Partick Thistle (the Jags.) He played professionally in Wales for Wrexham who won the Welsh Cup in 1958 as well as for clubs in England and Scotland before emigrating with his family to New Zealand in 1964.

Tom played all his club football in New Zealand with the same team – Eastern Suburbs. During his playing days with Suburbs, he captained them to three Chatham Cup wins (1965, 68, 69), won the National League in 1971 and Northern League Champs in 1965 and 1966.

A talented centre-half, Tom also captained Auckland and New Zealand from the mid-60’s through to the early 70’s until a knee injury put him out of the game. Good in the air, he often moved from his defensive position to score ‘using his head’ – always exciting to see!

A highlight during his playing days was captaining New Zealand against premier champions Manchester United in 1967 – a star studded team including Sir Bobby Charlton, George Best, Denis Law who went on to become European Champions that year.

Off the field also, the Manchester United team stars were down to earth and as dad said “no bigheads, great guys, with Mat Busby a great leader”. Another tour which stands out strongly in my memory was the South East Asian tour of the NZ Football team in 1968 during the Vietnam War.

The New Zealand boys were based for some of the time in Saigon and dad returned home with stories about the flashing lights of the war at night, having bodyguards escorting them to the pitch and other tales which as a child stuck in my mind.

Tom loved his football – in fact he lived and breathed football. He started out kicking cans in the streets of Glasgow, and his love of the game grew and grew. Even after he was injured and left a paraplegic in 1979 after a work accident, he continued to coach for some time and followed his beloved Rangers.

His favourite player of all time was the unsurpassable Pele. He always played to win – he played fair, he was tough, but he was always competitive. To the two teams contesting the Tom McNab Trophy today – go out and play fair, but play to win.


Extra Information

Lotto NRFL Club Meeting

GS Conference room (upstairs)
Bruce Pulman Park
Gymsport Centre
90 Walters Road
Papakura, Auckland
(best access through Gate C, Kuaka Drive, off Porchester Road, Takinini)

Lotto NRFL Reserves Finals Day

Tom McNabb Trophy
Sunday 18 September, 2016
McLennan Park 6
South Auckland Rangers v Ellerslie
kick-off: 12pm

NRFL Reserves Knock Out Bowl
McLennan Park 5
North Shore United v Metro FC
Kick-off: 1pm

NRFL Reserves Knock Out Plate
McLennan Park 1
Western Springs v Three Kings United
Kick-off: 2pm

NRFL Reserves Knock Out Shield
McLennan Park 5
Albany United v Fencibles United
Kick-off: 3.15pm

NRFL Reserves Knock Out Cup
McLennan Park 1
Onehunga Sports v Hamilton Wanderers
Kick-off: 4.30pm

Other finals

AFF Women’s Knock Out Cup
William Green Domain 1
Three Kings United v Claudelands Rovers
Kick-off: 1pm

1983 Franklin
1984 Not contested
1985 Franklin
1986 Not contested
1987 Auckland
1988 Not contested
1989 Franklin
1990 Auckland
1991 Franklin
1992 Franklin
1993 Franklin
1994 Counties-Manukau
1995 Not contested
1996 Counties-Manukau
1997 Counties-Manukau
1998 Not contested
1999 Counties-Manukau

2000-2004 Not contested

2005 Pukekohe AFC
2006 Waiuku AFC
2007 Waiuku AFC
2008 Central United
2009 Three Kings United
2010 Not contested
2011 Mangere United
2012 Fencibles United
2013 Uni-Mount Wellington
2014 Manukau City
2015 Bohemian Celtic