Sports Hall of Fame


The Sports Hall of Fame recognises sporting achievements by athletes and coaches who have had a significant impact on Whanganui’s sporting heritage.

Inductees have achieved success at the highest level in their chosen sporting field(s) and brought credit to sport in the Whanganui district. Thirty-two elite Whanganui sportspeople have been inducted into the Hall of Fame since it was launched in 2008. Wrestling great Pat O’Connor, legendary jockey Brent Thomson and professional golfer Simon Owen were the last inductees announced in 2019.

The Sports Hall of Fame is located in the foyer of the Cooks Gardens Event Centre. 

2023 Whanganui Sports Hall of Fame Nominations

A partnership with the Whanganui District Council Mayor’s office and Sport Whanganui has resulted in the relaunch of the Hall of Fame in 2023, after a period of dormancy largely due to COVID-19 restrictions.

New sporting greats were inducted into the Whanganui Sports Hall of Fame following a ceremony at Cooks Gardens on 8 March 2024. Nominations for 2024 will open later this year.

The selection panel

The Sports Hall of Fame has a selection panel to choose inductees. They are:

Chair: Keith Smith, former Whanganui District Council Sport and Recreation Advisor


  • Cath Cheatley
  • Grant Mckinnon
  • Jared Smith
  • Jolene Johansen
  • JB Phillips 

2023 inductees

Kenneth (Ken) Ruby | Wrestling

Born in Wellington, Ruby’s athletic prowess made him a household name as one of New Zealand’s top amateur wrestlers of the 1940s-50s. He was a member of the New Zealand team to compete at the British Empire (Commonwealth) Games in Auckland in 1950, and in Vancouver in 1954, where he placed fifth.

Upon his return from Canada, Ruby and his young family moved to Whanganui and went on to give back to the sport for many years as a coach and official, including starting what is now the Whanganui Boys and Girls Gym Club alongside Police Constable Jim Bowley.

Ruby later became an international referee-judge, officiating at multiple Commonwealth Games and World Championship events. He was named a Life Member of the New Zealand Referee-Judge panel in 1980, and life member of the NZ Olympic Wrestling Union in 1989.

In 1998, Ruby was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal (QSM) for community service in the Queen’s Birthday Honours. He passed away in Tauranga in 2011.

Ian Wright |Rowing

Ian Wright is recognised as one of the top rowing coaches in the world and has a successful pedigree as an athlete, representing New Zealand at the highest levels of the sport.

Wright took up rowing at Whanganui High School in 1978 and made his first New Zealand Rowing Team in 1983 as a member of the under-23 squad to compete against Australia. He went on to compete at the 1986 Commonwealth Games in Edinburgh, winning a silver medal with Barrie Mabbott in the coxless pair, and a bronze in the eight.

Wright was part of the New Zealand Olympic rowing team to compete in Seoul, Korea in 1988, where he won a bronze medal in the coxed four alongside Chris White, Andrew Bird, Greg Johnston and George Keys. He was stroke of the coxed four that finished 11th at the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and returned for a third cycle to compete at Atlanta in 1996, finishing 13th.

As a coach at St Paul's Collegiate in Hamilton, and later at Hamilton Boys' High School, Wright produced Maadi Cup-winning squads at each school. He coached the New Zealand under-23 team at various times during the 2000’s and the development coxed four to the world championships in 2003. Wright has coached national teams in Australia and Switzerland and in 2023 was nominated for Coach of the Year by World Rowing.

2019 Inductees

Patrick John (Pat) O’ConnorPat O'Connor

(1924 – 1990) | Wrestling

Raetihi-born Pat O’Connor was world professional wrestling champion for 31 months, also winning world tag team titles, was twice New Zealand amateur heavyweight champion and won a silver medal at the 1950 Auckland Empire Games.

Pat was from a farming background. After attending Massey Agricultural College he spent six months in the Royal New Zealand Air Force and played sport in Whanganui, including grade rugby with the Wanganui Marist Rugby Football Club.

While in Whanganui he trained as a blacksmith to help finance wrestling coaching under the late Don Anderson before linking up with the Anton Koolman Gym in Wellington.

Pat represented New Zealand at the Pan American Games, was New Zealand heavyweight amateur champion in 1949 and 1950 and was second in the heavyweight division at the 1950 Empire Games.

Then it was off to America to try his hand in the professional ranks where he won the 1955 National Wrestling Alliance (NWA) world tag team title with partner Roy McClarity in Chicago, holding the title for a year. He also won the NWA British Empire title in Toronto and the Canadian Open Tag Team title with Billy (Whipper) Watson.

Pat’s major wrestling break-through came in his then home city, St Louis, when he ended the 13-month reign of Dick Hutton as NWA world champion, winning the title with a spinning leg lock on January 9, 1959.

The New Zealander defended the title for 31 months before losing to “Nature Boy” Buddy Rogers before a North American record crowd of 38,622 at Chicago’s Comiskey Park on June 30, 1961 – an attendance record that stood until 1986.

During Pat’s reign as world champion the American Wrestling Association (AWA) seceded from the NWA in May 1960 and he is the only wrestler to have held both the NWA and AWA world titles at the same time. He later briefly won both the AWA (1967) and WWA (1968) world tag team titles with Wilbur Snyder.

Later a prominent professional wrestling promoter, Pat retired in 1982 after 32 years of wrestling. He returned to New Zealand briefly for several fights.

He died from cancer at the age of 65 in St Louis, Missouri, on August 16, 1990, and was held in such esteem that memorial services were held in both Kansas City and St Louis. This was fitting because he had been inducted into the United States top-ranked Professional Wrestling Hall of Fame.

Simon Owen

Simon Owen

(1950 - ) | Golf

Whanganui born Simon Owen, the 1976 International Double Diamond individual golf champion, won 17 tournaments around the world during his professional career and represented New Zealand five times in team events.

Although he won titles in Scotland, Italy, Tunisia, Malaysia, Australia, Fiji and New Zealand, Simon is best known for his effort in leading the field in the 1978 British Open with three holes to play at the famous St. Andrews course in Scotland.

He slotted six birdies in the space of seven holes, including chipping in on the 15th green, in the fourth and final round to move ahead of his playing partner, the legendary Jack Nicklaus.

Although Simon played several fine shots over the closing three holes, it was the American who snared a birdie to a bogey by the Kiwi to take a 1-up lead on the 16th.

Simon’s approach on the notorious 17th (Road Hole) trickled off the green. He just missed a par putt and Nicklaus carded a par four for a 2-up advantage.

Regulation pars on the 18th saw Nicklaus claim the title by two shots from Owen and the American trio of Tom Kite, Ben Crenshaw and Raymond Floyd.

Simon said it was an honour to play alongside the greatest golfer the world has ever seen and give him a run for his money.

Although he played in a dozen British Opens and the 1979 US Masters it was his titanic 1978 tussle with Nicklaus that stands out as his closest effort to creating golfing fame.

His two main European victories were winning the 1974 German Open with a score of 12-under 276 after a birdie on the first extra play-off hole against England’s Peter Oosterhuis and the 1976 Double Diamond tournament at Gleneagles with 8-under 132, two shot clear of Brian Huggett (Wales) and David Ingram (Scotland).

Simon also won the 2001 Tunisian Open in a play-off with American Bob Lendzion and the 2007 Italian Open after a play-off with John Benda (USA), Tony Allen and Carl Mason (both England) on the European seniors’ circuit.

He also won the 1972 Fiji Open, 1976 New Zealand Open, 1978 New Zealand PGA and Malaysian Masters, 1980 South Australian Open and 1981 Tahiti Open.

Simon was in the New Zealand team that reached the semi-finals of the 1990 Dunhill Cup tournament at St. Andrews alongside Frank Nobilo and Greg Turner after making his Dunhill debut the previous year.

He played in the New Zealand World Cup team in 1973 and 1989 in Spain and in California in 1976.

Simon and his wife Cathy now live at Kinloch where he is a teaching professional.

Brent Thomson

Brent Thomson

(1958 –) | Horse racing

Born in Whanganui and son of noted horse trainer, the late Kevin Thomson, Brent won more than 2500 winners in 27 countries around the world, becoming a member of both the New Zealand and Australian Racing Halls of Fame.

He was a natural lightweight jockey who started his racing career in Whanganui at the age of 15, was New Zealand’s top apprentice the following year and in 1974 rode Fury’s Order to victory in the Benson and Hedges Cup at Riccarton.

Brent went on to ride Fury’s Order to win the first of his four Australian weight-for-age Cox Plates within five years in 1975. The Cox Plate domination included a hat-trick of victories for ace trainer Colin Hayes.

The Whanganui rider was stable jockey for Hayes for six years and he was to win three Victorian premierships, the first rider from outside that state to achieve the feat.

Brent was lured to Britain by prolific owner Robert Sangster where his successes started at Royal Ascot in the Cork and Orrery (now the Queen Elizabeth Jubilee) and also included the Queen Elizabeth II and back-to-back Ascot Gold Cups. The then 24-year-old rider won 30 races in the first five months.

He returned to Australia in 1987 to win the Caulfield Guineas and a second Caulfield Cup but eventually moved to Asia where he found riding in Hong Kong very exciting.

He was attached to the powerful Brian Kan Ping-chee stable for part of his five years on the Asian circuit, retiring in 2000 after riding in Macau. His 2500-plus winners included the 1984 Baden-Baden Grand Prix in Germany on Australian mount Strawberry Road, one of 54 Group 1 events he won.

Brent rates Dulcify the best horse he ever rode, winner of the AJC Derby, Victorian Derby, Rosehill Guineas and the 1979 Cox Plate but the horse was fatally injured during the 1979 Melbourne Cup.

Nicknamed the “Wanganui Whiz-kid” and later “The Babe” in Australia, Brent enjoyed great popularity around the world and now lives in Melbourne where he is a New Zealand Bloodstock representative.

2018 Inductees

Robin Hood

Robin Michael Newton Hood

(1939– ) | Diving

Whanganui-born Robin Hood has an outstanding record in international springboard and high platform diving administration.

He has officiated at 14 world championships, nine World Cups, seven Olympic Games, ten Commonwealth Games and five Asian and South-East Asian Games.

Robin started his diving career with the Gonville Swimming Club in 1949, winning club, centre and interprovincial titles as well as club and centre backstroke, medley and freestyle swimming championships.

He shifted to Hamilton in 1959 to join diving coach, the late Mervyn Campbell, at the Rovers Swimming Club, winning the New Zealand 3-metre springboard title three times in 1966, 1967 and 1968, followed by the 1-metre springboard title in 1970.

A gold medal in the 1966 New South Wales 3-metre state championship helped him win selection to the New Zealand Commonwealth Games team for Kingston, where he finished fifth.

After missing inclusion in the 1968 Mexico Olympics team, Robin retired from national competition in 1971 to concentrate on the administration side of diving.

This had started at Gonville with the formation of the Wanganui Diving Committee of the Wanganui Swimming Centre. Robin was a foundation member of the New Zealand Diving Committee attached to the New Zealand Amateur Swimming Association (NZASA). It later became Diving New Zealand.

Robin’s first national appointment was as manager of the New Zealand diving team to the 1982 world (FINA) championships in Ecuador. As the NZASA emissary he successfully helped win the rights to host the 1983 FINA world junior diving championships in Hamilton and he became secretary of the organising committee.

He was technical director of the organising committee when the 1999 FINA World Cup was held in Wellington.

Since the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Christchurch, where he was a referee, Robin has officiated in a major capacity – referee, judge, delegate or lecturer – at international FINA events around the world, including 22 clinics in 16 countries.

Robin, who retired  from FINA duties in Rome in 2009 and now lives in Albany, received a Diving New Zealand Life Membership Award in 2001, was inducted into the International Swimming Hall of Fame (Paragon Award) for Outstanding Contribution to Diving in 2004, was awarded the FINA Gold Pin for Service to International Diving in 2009, and in 2018 named as an Officer of the New Zealand Order of Merit for service to springboard and platform diving by the Governor-General, Her Excellency The Rt Hon Dame Patsy Reddy.

Charlie Phillips

Charles Ernest Phillips

1940–2003 | Softball

Whanganui-born Charlie Phillips was the first New Zealander to play, umpire and administer softball internationally.

He represented New Zealand at the inaugural world championships in Mexico in 1966, finishing third behind the United States and Mexico, and again in Oklahoma in 1968 where he placed fifth.

Those two Kiwi softball teams were the pioneers for New Zealand sides – now the most successful in the world with seven world titles.

Although a class pitcher for the Whanganui representative team, Charlie gained international honours as a shortstop and third baseman. He was a very alert in-fielder with quick reflexes and a powerful arm, as well as being a strong batter.

Charlie, a foundation member of the Braves Softball Club, was an all-round sportsman, also representing Whanganui in football (a top-class goalkeeper), badminton, squash and table tennis.

He was New Zealand Softball Umpire-in-Chief for 13 years (1983–1996), officiating at world championships, and deputy chief umpire at world women’s and junior tournaments.

In 1997 he was inducted into the New Zealand Softball Hall of Fame, and in 1999 into the International Softball Federation Hall of Fame.

His international citation recognised Charlie’s contribution and dedication to the development and growth of world softball, in particular umpiring, and mentions his experience in all facets of the sport – playing, umpiring and administrating over a 30-year span.

He was also the South Pacific Regional Umpire-in-Chief, which included assisting with the standardising of international umpire training programmes.

Charlie Phillips has a major legacy in New Zealand softball. He is also credited with introducing t-ball into this country after witnessing its popularity on an overseas trip.

The Phillips family was heavily involved in Whanganui softball: Charlie’s father, Fred, as an umpire, mother Alice a scorer, brother Bill played for New Zealand in the outfield, and sister Margaret represented Whanganui.

2017 Inductees

Peter Henderson

Peter Henderson

1926–2014 | Rugby

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.

Peter Henderson is rated as one of the fastest All Blacks of all time.

Nicknamed ‘Sammy’, Peter was a New Zealand sprint champion with a quickest 100 yards time of 9.7 seconds.

He played 19 rugby matches for the All Blacks on the 1949 tour of South Africa and against the visiting British Isles Lions in 1950. He represented New Zealand 19 times, including seven tests, and was the top try scorer in South Africa with seven tries.

Born in Gisborne, Peter was an All Black triallist and North Island representative in 1948, played for Hawke’s Bay in 1944–45 and 26 times for Whanganui between 1946 and 1950. He scored a hat-trick of tries in a 22–8 away victory over Canterbury in 1948, played in a Ranfurly Shield challenge against Otago on the same South Island tour and against the Lions at Spriggens Park in 1950.

On the athletic track he won the New Zealand 100 yards title in the 1948–49 season in 10 seconds and in 1950 was in the New Zealand 4x100 yards men’s relay team that finished third at the Auckland Empire Games, after placing fifth in the individual 100-yards final.

Peter, who lost his job as a dental technician while on the South African tour, was lured to Britain by English professional rugby league club Huddersfield in late 1950 and played 258 matches for the club over seven years, scoring 214 tries in his 633 points.

As a right-winger he helped Huddersfield beat St Helens 15–10 in front of 89,588 spectators in the 1952–53 Challenge Cup final at Wembley Stadium.

Peter also played for the Other Nationalities side that won the 1953 tri-nations test league series against England and France.

Switching to league, however, earned him a 38-year ban by the New Zealand Rugby Union which lasted until 1989.

Peter, who was a Kaierau Club member, joined the New Zealand Barbarians Rugby Club and was also a keen lawn bowler in his latter years in the Bay of Plenty, helping to promote an annual tournament for league and rugby players.

He attended the Wanganui v Wellington Ranfurly Shield match at Cooks Gardens in 2009 and the Wanganui Rugby Football Union’s 125th jubilee in 2012.

Alan Bruce Lints

Lints Family

Alan Bruce Lints (1924–2019) | Hockey 

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2017.

This Whanganui-born father and son combination have represented New Zealand in men's hockey, as well as being involved in the sport at international, national and district levels.

Alan Bruce Lints (pictured right) represented New Zealand against Australia in 1958, captained North Island Minors for three of his six years in the team and was a New Zealand secondary schools' representative in 1951 and a North Island Colt.

He represented Whanganui at all levels between 1954 and 1968 and has held the roles of president, vice president, secretary, selector-coach, delegate and fixtures and umpires' appointee and is a life member of the Wanganui association and the Tech COB club.

In 1977 he was awarded the NZHA Pakistan Trophy for outstanding service to the sport, the year he was convenor of the national tournament held in Whanganui. He was a panel member of the NZHA select committee which investigated the future of hockey in New Zealand.

As an umpire, Alan Bruce gained his New Zealand A-grade badge in 1960, controlling provincial games against touring international teams, as well as two national finals and a North v South fixture.  

At the national level Alan Bruce served as NZHUA president, vice president, executive member and was a theory and practical examiner for A grade badges, as well as umpires' director of a national tournament in Dunedin.

Alan Bruce Lints also represented Whanganui in senior cricket and is a life member and patron of the Wanganui East Bowling Club.

Alan Brodie Lints

Alan Brodie Lints (1959– ) | Hockey

Alan Brodie Lints (pictured right) represented New Zealand in 1986 at the London World Cup and toured Argentina in 1987 and India in 1988. He played for Whanganui in 1978 and 1983, for Manawatū 80 times between 1979 and 1984, and 150 times for Northland between 1985 and 1997. He was also a New Zealand Minors team representative.

Between 2001 and 2005, Alan Brodie was national director of the Welsh Hockey Union, director of the Great Britain Olympic Hockey Ltd in 2002–04, general manager of the New Zealand Hockey Federation in 2000–01, coaching and development manager of Hockey New Zealand between 1996–99 and was on the Oceania Hockey Federation in 2000 with FIH congresses in France, Egypt and Belgium.

At present he is chairman of the Oceania Umpires and Officials Executive, chairman of Hockey Northland Umpires Executive and is on the boards of Hockey Northland and Whangarei Netball.

The Lints family was also heavily involved in hockey with father Ron secretary of Wanganui Hockey for many years, while his wife Ivy was a life member of the association. Alan Bruce's daughter, Gillian Rajan, was in a champion Waikato national Kaye Cup team and son Duncan captained a winning Wellington colts' team.

2016 Inductee

Nicola (Nikki) Payne

(1966– ) | Rowing

Nikki Payne made history at the 1988 summer Olympic Games in Seoul when she and partner Lynley Hannen finished third in the women's coxless pair to give New Zealand its first ever Olympic women's rowing medal.

She was also the world under-23 single sculls champion in 1986 after placing fourth in the junior world single scull two years earlier, was sixth in the coxless pair at the 1989 world championships in Bled (Yugoslavia) and was fourth in the coxless four and sixth in the eight at the 1990 world championships in Tasmania.

At the national level Nikki won 14 New Zealand premier women's titles for the Hamilton club between 1986 and 1990 in the coxless pair, double scull, quadruple scull, four and eight, including five successive coxless pair championships.

In addition Nikki won seven Swiss national titles between 1987 and 1989.

Despite being national champions for two years, Nikki and Nelson-born partner Lynley Hannen were 'novices' when they went to Europe in a bid to qualify for the Olympics after missing original selection in the 1988 New Zealand team for the Seoul Olympic Games.

Under Whanganui-born coach Harry Mahon, who coached national crews from New Zealand, Switzerland and South Africa, Nikki and Lynley went to Europe to train and race in a late bid to qualify for Olympic selection.

Second place in an international regatta in Lucerne earned them selection for Seoul where they were runners-up in their heat, won the repechage and were comfortably third behind Romania and Bulgaria in the final, five seconds ahead of East Germany who had beaten them by 14 seconds in the Lucerne regatta.

Nikki, born in Hong Kong, arrived in Whanganui with her family at the age of two, attended St John's Hill School, Whanganui Intermediate and Whanganui High School where she started her successful rowing career on the Whanganui River.

She was twice in Whanganui High School's winning four-oar and eight-oar crews at the national Maadi Cup secondary schools' championships and also added the under-18 single and double sculls at one of the regattas.

As a member of the Wanganui Rowing Club Nikki won the intermediate double scull and was in the champion intermediate eight at the 1983 New Zealand regatta on Lake Horowhenua in 1983.

The 1988 Olympic bronze medal proved an inspiration for New Zealand women's rowing which has enjoyed so much international success at Olympic Games, world championships and World Cup regattas over the years.

2015 Inductees

Megan Compain

Megan Compain

(1975– ) | Basketball

Whanganui-born Megan Compain made history in 1997 when she became the first New Zealand player to secure a contract to play professional basketball in the United States, signing on with the Utah Starzz for the inaugural WNBA championship, being the youngest National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) player in the league at the age of 21.

Her skills as a very accurate shooting guard led to further contracts to play in the German Bundesliga first division (for Wurzburg) and Finnish national league (with Lahti) as well as in Wales. 

Megan first gained selection in the New Zealand women’s Tall Blacks in 1998. She was selected in the New Zealand women’s basketball team to compete at the 2000 Sydney Olympics and she gained selection again for the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.

Megan’s earlier career included playing for Whanganui High School and for the Whanganui representatives before leaving the city at the age of 16 when she accepted an exchange student scholarship to attend Middle Township High School (roll of 850-plus students) in New Jersey.

While playing for St. Joseph’s University Hawks (STJ) in Philadelphia she was twice named Atlanta 10 Player of the week, won selection in the All-Atlanta 10 Team in her senior year, was the 1997 Big Five Player of the Year and was named in the Big Five Hall of Fame after leading STJ to victory in the Atlanta Top 10 championship. 

During her four years at the University Megan was three times a first team all-Big Time and all-time Atlanta selection for STJ which qualified for the 1994, 1995 and 1997 NCAA Tournaments. She finished with 1497 points, 443 rebounds and an 82.4% accuracy.

When she signed with the Utah Starzz Megan, joint holder of the NCAA All Time Single Game 3 Point Shooting Record of 7/7 against Rhode Island in 1997, was playing alongside Russian superstar Elena Baranova. 

After the Athens Olympic Games Megan Compain was appointed Adidas Basketball Global Manager for Europe, being based in Nuremburg (2005–07) and Amsterdam (2007–09), before returning to New Zealand to be married and join the New Zealand Rugby Union as marketing and relationship sponsorship manager.

Clarrie Healey

Clarrie Healey

(1895–1987) | Rowing

Clarrie Healey gained fame as one of New Zealand’s finest rowing oarsmen and coaches including stroking the NZ Army crew to victory before more than 100,000 spectators in an epic Allied Forces Eights race on the River Seine in 1919.

The then 24-year-old Wanganui Union rower, who was recovering from injuries suffered in the trenches in France during World War I, stroked his Kiwi crew to a thrilling victory over a USA Expeditionary Forces eight picked from two million Americans in the war, with host country France third.

The Allied Forces Regatta was staged following the signing of the Armistice to end the war and was watched by New Zealand Prime Minister Bill Massey, his Minister of Finance Sir Joseph Ward, Lawrence of Arabia and other world dignitaries.

The Kiwi eight, which included Clarrie’s Wanganui Union fellow club members Bill Coombes, bowman George Wilson and coxswain Arthur Trussell, lost only once during racing in England and France in 1918–1919. The boat they raced in was donated to New Zealand and used by the Union club for many years.

Clarrie, born in Sanson, had a very distinguished career as a competitor, coach and official. He joined Union in 1911 at the age of 16, won eight NZ titles between 1920 and 1938 (the last at the age of 44), coached the club to eight national titles between 1937 and 1962 and was club captain for 35 years (1931–1966).

Remarkably he was named to attend four Olympic Games over a period of 28 years. He was selected in the NZ eight for the 1928 Amsterdam Olympics but the crew did not travel because of a lack of funds. But he attended the 1932 Los Angeles Olympics as NZ eight-oar coach and both the 1952 Helsinki and 1956 Melbourne Olympics as the four-oar coach.

In addition Clarrie stroked the Union eight at the 1934 Melbourne Centenary Regatta and coached the club four at the 1958 Cardiff Commonwealth Games, both crews representing New Zealand.

He was heavily involved with the New Zealand Amateur Rowing Association (NZARA), serving seven years as national selector, helped developed the country’s training ergometer which was based at Union and used for NZ trials for many years, and was rewarded with NZARA life membership to go with an MBE and life membership of both the Wanganui association and Union club.

Clarrie coached Wanganui Technical College crews from 1941–1953, winning back-to-back national Maadi Cup eights titles in 1949–1950.

A fanatic for fitness training in all forms of sport, he also represented Wanganui rugby five times in 1924–1926 when playing for Wanganui Pirates.

2014 Inductee

Bev Shingles

Bev Shingles


Bev Shingles was one of New Zealand’s top women’s distance runners for two decades.

She represented New Zealand on the track, road (marathon) and in cross-country racing and was the first New Zealand woman to win national titles in all three disciplines.

In 1971 Bev won the 1500 metres and was runner-up over 800 metres at the trans-Tasman track meeting in Sydney and was a member of the NZ team that finished second in the world cross country championships in Spain, placing eighth in the individual race. She was in the winning NZ women’s team in Belgium and London on the European tour.

In international marathons Bev was runner-up in the 1976 Avon Australian race, 11th in the 1978 Atlanta race, runner-up in Sydney in 1981, fourth in Tokyo and ninth in a field of 680 in Ottawa (Canada) the same year, and was in the NZ champion women’s team in the London marathon in 1982, placing fourth overall

One of her finest efforts was winning the 20th Century Fox international marathon in Los Angeles in 1979, the then 39-year-old mother of two winning by a minute from a strong field of more than 50 runners from nine countries over the same course used for the 1932 Olympic Games. She also finished runner-up in a 10,000-metre international road race in Santa Monica.

Bev won NZ titles on the track (1500 metres in 1971), in cross-country (1972) and in the marathon (1980).

She won a world cross-country team trial in 1971 and the 1500-metre race at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games trial after being runner-up over 800 metres and 1500 metres in the 1969 Commonwealth Games trials, and she raced in the track 3000 metres at the 1975 NZ Games.

Bev won two Rotorua women’s marathons (1976 and 1979), the Hamilton international race in 1977, the Christchurch marathon in 1980 and the Taumarunui marathon in 1981, the same year that she won three titles (5000 metres, 10,000 metres and the 10-kilometre road race) at the world masters athletic championships in Christchurch. Her 1976 time, in her first marathon, was a New Zealand record by 30m 47s and was the seventh fastest time in the world.

She has won the Wanganui Sportsperson the Year title twice (1971 and 1980), was awarded an Athletics New Zealand long service medal in 1992,and is a life member of the Wanganui Harrier Club.

2013 Inductees

Sean Johnson

Sean Johnson 

(1972– ) | Lawn bowls

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

Former world lawn bowls silver and bronze medal winner Sean Johnson has the distinction of having played in 99 tests for New Zealand.

Sean, who was born in Dannevirke, became an anchor member of the Whanganui representative side and the Aramoho club which also boasts ex-world champion Peter Belliss.

Sean was Wanganui Sportsperson of the Year in 2001, 2002, 2003 and 2004. He won a silver medal in the triples and a bronze medal in the fours at the 2004 world championships.

The previous year he won gold in the triples and silver in the fours at the 2003 Asia Pacific championships after being runner-up in the singles and third in the triples at the 2001 tournament.

After playing for a New Zealand Selection against South Australia and Ireland, Sean was a New Zealand under-30 representative against Australia (1998-2000), played in the Millennium singles in Scotland in 2000, in the Northwest test series in England in 2001, was a trans-Tasman representative against Australia between 2001 and 2004, and represented New Zealand at the 2002 Manchester Commonwealth Games.

At the national level he won the open pairs with Chris Waterson in 2000, the national club triples in 2004, was in Aramoho’s New Zealand champion inter-club team in 2003, was in Whanganui’s winning national junior team for the John Flett Trophy in 1993 and in the champion Wanganui Super 8 team in 1999.

In addition, Sean was runner-up in the national fours in 1999 and third equal in the singles the following season.

On the Whanganui front Sean has won 18 open titles and 23 Aramoho club championships.

Glen Osborne

Glen Osborne

(1971– ) | Rugby

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2013.

Glen Osborne followed his uncle Bill into the All Black ranks and over a period of five years (1995–1999) played 29 times for New Zealand, including 19 tests. He was a member of the All Black team which finished runner-up in the 1995 World Cup in South Africa. 

He played for New Zealand at either full-back or on the wing in the era of All Black outside back stars Christian Cullen, Jonah Lomu and Tana Umaga. 

Glen was born in Whanganui and educated at St Augustine’s College. He helped Kaierau win the 1991 Wanganui premier club championship and played 20 times for Whanganui in 1990–91 before heading to North Harbour, where he played 69 games for that union between 1992 and 2001. 

Glen played three seasons of Super 12 Rugby for the Chiefs (19 games in 1996–98) and had eight matches for the Hurricanes as a draft player in 1999.

He was a key member of the New Zealand Sevens side between 1992–97, playing in three winning Hong Kong tournament teams and being named Player of the Tournament. 

His rugby career included playing for clubs in France and Japan. 

Glen’s last test appearance was against Italy in the 1999 World Cup when he scored two tries.

2012 Inductees

McIntyre Family

McIntyre Family 

Multiple Sports

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Joseph Barnett (Barney) McIntyre (1898–1962)

  • A New Zealand hockey reserve in the early 1920s. Member of the Wanganui Hockey Club winning team in the 1935 NZ men’s inter-club title
  • Won NZ veteran men’s tennis singles title.
  • Whanganui rugby, tennis, athletics and wrestling representative.

Annie Violet (Annie) McIntyre (1901–1980)

Took up golf later in life, winning a NZ women’s flight title and several Belmont club titles.

Joan McIntyre (1923– )

  • Member of Whanganui’s Hinemoa club side that won the Dustin Cup (NZ softball inter-club championship) in 1940 and 1946. 
  • Represented Whanganui in the 1942 New Zealand champion inter-provincial softball side.
  • Castlecliff Golf Club’s senior champion in 1975.

Neville McIntyre (1924–2012)

  • New Zealand hockey representative to Australia in 1950.
  • North Island Minor Associations team representative.
  • Whanganui hockey representative for many years and was a member of the Rangers club.
  • Top graded NZ hockey umpire.
  • Won Whanganui open, residential and club tennis titles.
  • Son Alan is in the Whanganui and New Zealand Sports Halls of Fame.

Mary Laugesen (1925– )

  • New Zealand Women’s Golfer of the Year in 1970.
  • Selected as pitcher for the 1944–45 New Zealand women’s softball side to play a test series in Australia. The tour was called off because of war-related concerns.
  • Played in the winning 1942 Wanganui National Inter-provincial Champion softball side and the Hinemoa national inter-club champion teams of 1940 and 1946.
  • Played in 25 national Russell Grace women’s inter-provincial golf tournaments with wins in the 1957 and 1960 NZ team title.
  • Won 16 open golf titles including nine Whanganui championships plus 17 Belmont and six Castlecliff club finals.

Roy McIntyre (1931– )

  • North Island Minor Association hockey representative.
  • Whanganui men’s representative selector, coach and captain.
  • Top graded NZ hockey umpire.

Gordon McIntyre (1933– )

  • New Zealand hockey rep vs Pakistan 1958.
  • New Zealand Country hockey team in Australia in the 1960s.
  • North Island Minor Association representative.
  • Whanganui, Hawke’s Bay, Taranaki and Wellington hockey representative.
  • Former A Grade pennant golfer in Wellington.

Charlie Seeling

Charles Seeling

(1883 – 1956) | Rugby / Rugby League

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Charles Edward (Bronco) Seeling (1883–1956) was a Whanganui-born member of the 1905–06 “Originals” All Blacks side and was regarded as the best loose forward in world rugby at the time and later in rugby league when he switched codes.

Seeling played for Wanganui Pirates and for Whanganui in 1903 before moving to Auckland.

Between 1904 and 1908 he played 39 matches for New Zealand which included 11 tests. Twenty-five of these matches and four of the tests were on the “Originals” tour. Seeling, who was renowned and feared for his famous dive tackles, became a key member of the victorious Auckland Ranfurly Shield side between 1904 and 1909.

He was first spotted by league scouts on the tour of Britain and subsequently signed for Wigan in early 1910, playing 13 seasons with the club including three as captain. Although he started as a back in league, he soon made his name, as with the All Blacks, as an outstanding forward. Seeling played more than 200 games for Wigan, including three successive English rugby league finals (1910–12) plus the 1911 Challenge Cup final. Regarded as one of the club’s immortal players, the name of Charlie Seeling is one of only six chiselled in stone as you enter the club’s field at Central Park.

‘Bronco’ Seeling always regarded Whanganui as his home and in 1956 was planning a trip back to New Zealand when he was killed in a car crash. He was 73 years old.

Noted British rugby writer, E.H.D. Sewell, wrote of Seeling when at the height of his playing career, 'Search where one may, a better forward than Seeling does not exist.'

Richard Tonks

Richard Tonks

(1951– ) | Rowing

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2012.

Richard William (Dick) Tonks (1951– ) represented New Zealand at the highest level as a competitive rower. He won a silver medal in the New Zealand coxless four at the 1972 Munich Olympic Games along with Ross Collinge, Dudley Storey and Noel Mills.

Richard started his rowing career on the Whanganui River at the age of 13 under the coaching of his father, competing for the Union Rowing Club.

With a particular focus on fitness, he became a strong sculler and made his New Zealand debut in the 1971 New Zealand colts’ eight.

The following year, at the age of 19, he stroked the NZ coxless four to second place at the Munich Olympics.

Richard also competed at the 1973 European Championships, Moscow, in the coxed four; the 1974 European Championships, Lucerne, in the quadruple sculls and the 1975 world championships at Nottingham, also in the quadruple sculls.

He is also a winner of numerous New Zealand Championship medals.

On his retirement from competitive rowing, Richard turned his expertise to coaching.

This award recognises his achievements as an international rowing competitor.

2011 Inductee

Bryan Silk

Bryan Silk

(1910–1995) | Golf

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2011.

Bryan Silk, who was born in Whanganui and lived most of his life in the city, rates as one of New Zealand’s finest amateur golfers.

He won every major national golfing title in the country apart from the NZ Open and early in his career was touted by legendary American golfer Gene Sarazen to try his luck and join him on the rich US professional circuit.

Bryan, who played Sarazen in an exhibition match, however, passed up the invitation and became a golfing legend in his home country.

He won three NZ amateur titles over a 13-year span (1934, 1937 and 1947), was the leading amateur in the NZ Open (Bledisloe Cup) championship four times over a 29-year span (1934, 1936, 1948 and 1963), was NZ open foursomes champion twice (1950 and 1954) and won four NZ amateur foursomes titles (1938, 1949, 1950 and 1954).

Bryan, who represented New Zealand eight times between 1932 and 1956 and managed the winning Commonwealth Cup team in 1967, was the first NZ amateur to win a professional tournament – the 1957 Caltex pro-am at Pararapaumu Beach.

He was a member of four winning Whanganui amateur teams at the NZ Open, won 10 Whanganui open titles between 1933 and 1972, claimed 17 Belmont club championships over 33 years and was part of the champion Manawatū–Wanganui Freyberg Rosebowl men’s inter-provincial teams.

Bryan, who won the Inter-Allied open tournament in Rome in 1945 by 20 strokes and using borrowed clubs, had a great natural ability on the golf course.

His fellow Whanganui Collegiate School mate John Hornabrook, with whom he won the national foursomes title, claimed that he could have become one of the greatest players in the world if he had played the American pro circuit.

Sir Bob Charles, New Zealand’s most successful professional golfer, in supporting Bryan’s Sports Hall of Fame nomination, backed up Hornabrook’s claim, noting that if Silk had gone to America he could have become 'part of New Zealand’s rich (pro) golfing history'.

Bryan, who joined the Wanganui Golf Club at the age of 12 in 1922, founded the NZ Golfing Society in 1971 and was a NZ Golf Council member between 1965 and 1977, serving as president in 1980.

He was renowned for his extreme concentration on the golf course, his knowledge of the sport, his impeccable dress, and his perfect manners.

Bryan, a very successful chartered accountant who followed in the footsteps of his father, spent the last few years of his life in Christchurch with his wife Alison and son David.

Bryan Silk was truly a great ambassador not only for the city of Whanganui but also for New Zealand golf.

2010 Inductee

Pat Barwick

Pat Barwick 

(1946– ) | Hockey

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

Pat Barwick, who was born at Brunswick, north of Whanganui, captained New Zealand at hockey for nine years (1971–79) including in the first year of her selection at the age of 24.

She was chosen in the NZ team for the 1980 Moscow Olympics, after beating Australia and Great Britain the previous year to qualify, but the team did not play in Russia because of the Olympic boycott.

In her season as national captain New Zealand was placed third in the 1971 IFWHA world tournament in Auckland. Two years later the side again finished third, this time in the Jubilee Top 8 world tourney in Holland.

There was a further third placing in 1975 at the World Cup in Edinburgh. In 1977 Pat captained NZ to victory over England at Wembley Stadium. The following year there were test series wins over Australia and Canada but NZ drifted to ninth at the 1979 World Cup in Vancouver.

Pat's international career for New Zealand was over a 10-year span.

During her provincial playing career she played for Whanganui (1963–64, making her senior debut as a sixth former while at Wanganui Girls' College), Otago (1965–67), Hawke's Bay (1968–71) and Canterbury (1971–80), playing in four national winning teams. She was NZ Universities' captain in 1967.

As a coach Pat was in charge of the NZ team between 1987–1992, finishing ninth in the Sydney World Cup and eighth in the 1992 Barcelona Olympic Games after being assistant coach in 1985 and 1986 when the team was fourth in the World Cup in Holland.

Pat was also involved in coaching NZ under-18, under-21 and a NZ Selection.

At provincial level she coached Canterbury to five national and two champion tournament titles between 1980 and 1985.

A life member of Hockey New Zealand, Patricia, who lives in Christchurch, is director of coaching for Sport Canterbury.

2009 Inductees

Moke Belliss

Moke Belliss

(1894–1974) | Rugby

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

'Players of his era ranked him with the world’s best' was the way radio commentator Winston McCarthy wrote about the 1922 All Black captain.

Belliss, who played 20 times for New Zealand, six as captain on the 1922 All Black tour of Australia, and played three tests in the drawn series against the 1921 touring Springboks, was regarded as one of the best wing forwards of his time.

The NZ Rugby Museum claims he was the equivalent of a Waka Nathan or Wayne Shelford.

Moke Belliss, the grandfather of Peter Belliss, multiple world lawn bowls champion who also played rep rugby for Whanganui as a loose forward, represented Whanganui 44 times between 1914 and 1931.

He played for Moawhango Huia in the Taihape sub-union.

During his rugby career, which included being a key member of the NZ Army side that won the Kings Cup tournament in England and toured South Africa, Moke Belliss played in 98 first class games.

He was in outstanding form in the scoreless drawn final test against the Springboks at Athletic Park in 1921, playing most of the match with a broken thumb.

His son Jack was to become a key member of the Whanganui representative team to be followed by his grandson Peter and great-grandson Paul.

Harry Cave

Harry Cave 

(1922–1989) | Cricket

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2009.

Was captain of New Zealand’s first team to tour Pakistan and India, in 1955–56, but is better known for his feats when New Zealand won its first ever international match – against the touring West Indies at Eden Park on 13 March 1956. 

In that historic Auckland test Cave, who came from one of the country’s best-known cricketing families, took 4-22 and 4-21, conceding only 43 runs from a total of 40.4 overs, which included 26 maidens. 

It was New Zealand’s first test win in 45 tests over a 25-year period. 

Only a few months earlier he had been captain of a torturous eight-test tour of India and Pakistan which saw many of the team, including Cave himself, struck down with illness. 

On that tour in very trying conditions Harry Cave bowled 254 medium pace in-swing and leg cutter overs including 119 maidens, in five tests against India, and took seven wickets.

After the Auckland test win Cave came up against a touring Australian B team that contained the likes of Craig, Simpson, Favell, Burge, Benaud, O’Neill and Harvey and in three matches conceded less than two runs an over, taking 17 wickets at an average of 16.70 runs.

Harry Cave, who followed in the footsteps of his father and five uncles who all repped for Whanganui, with one of his uncles a test umpire in 1929–30, was NZ Cricket Almanack Player of the Year in 1957. He also toured England in 1949 and 1958.

He played in 117 first class matches for NZ, Central Districts and Wellington, including 19 internationals (nine as captain), between 1945 and 1959, taking 362 runs at an average of 23.93 runs.

2008 Inductees

Gary Anderson

Gary Anderson

(1967– ) | Cycling

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. Also a member of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.

New Zealand’s most prolific international cycling medal winner.

Won New Zealand’s first ever Olympic cycling medal when third in the individual pursuit at Barcelona in 1992. Also raced at Seoul (1988), Atlanta (1996) and Sydney (2000 Olympics) before retiring after 16 years of international racing.

Toast of the 1990 Auckland Commonwealth Games with three wins and a silver medal. Also two silvers and two bronzes at Edinburgh in 1986 and rode at Victoria (Canada) in 1994. Although selected, a life-threatening accident prevented him from competing in Kuala Lumpur in 1998.

Scored three wins, four seconds and two thirds at nine World Cup meetings between 1997 and 2000 and four wins and a third in Oceania championships.

New Zealand Junior Sportsman of the Year in 1985 and 1986, winner of numerous New Zealand titles and national records. Awarded an MBE in the 1990 Queen’s Honours.

Whanganui Sportsperson of the Year in 1986, 1987 and 1988.

Inducted into the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame in 2007.

Philippa Baker-Hogan

Philippa Baker-Hogan

(1963– ) | Rowing

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

One of New Zealand’s most successful international rowers, being the first New Zealand woman rower to win a World Championship, with three women’s world sculling titles.

She won the world lightweight single sculls at Vienna in 1991 which led to her being named NZ Sportswoman of the Year, plus the Halberg Award.

In 1993 she teamed up with Brenda Lawson to win the world senior double sculls at Racice in the Czech Republic and the pair retained the title at Eagles Greek (USA) the following year. They won the 1994 NZ Team of the Year plus Halberg Award.

The pair competed at and were finalists at two Olympic Games, Barcelona in 1992 and Atlanta in 1996.

Baker-Hogan, who rowed for Canterbury and Cambridge before moving to Whanganui to join the Union club in 1993, won 21 New Zealand Championship Titles, the lightweight singles twice, heavyweight singles and doubles three times each, the coxless pair and four once each and the quadruple sculls and eights six times each.

Four of the victories were in the Wanganui Union Boat Club colours.

She received an MBE for services to rowing in 1993. She was the Waikato Sportsperson of the Year twice (1989, 1991) and Whanganui Sportsperson of the Year twice (1993, 1994).

Peter Belliss

Peter Belliss

(1951– ) | Lawn bowls

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

With six world championship medals including three titles, he was the mainstay of New Zealand men’s teams for more than 20 years.

He won the world singles at Aberdeen in 1984, the pairs at Auckland in 1988 and the triples in Johannesburg in 2000.

In addition, he was runner-up in the triples at Adelaide in 1996 and third in the fours at Adelaide and again in Johannesburg.

Belliss competed for New Zealand at four Commonwealth Games – Brisbane in 1982, placing 3rd in the singles; Victoria (Canada) 1994, 3rd in the fours; plus Kuala Lumpur 1998, Manchester 2002 and then was a coach at Melbourne in 2006.

On the national front he won six New Zealand titles with the Aramoho club – singles in 1980–85–91, pairs in 1991–94 and the Superbowls in 1992, plus won the fours in 2009.

Belliss, who was also a Whanganui rugby representative, won 19 Wanganui centre bowls titles.

He was Wanganui Sportsperson of the Year in 1981–82–83.

Ron Cheatley

Ron Cheatley

(1948 – ) | Cycling coach

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

The most successful coach in New Zealand cycling with 92 international medals, including 32 victories and 85 national titles over a 21-year period.

New Zealand Coach of the Year in 1989/90 and 1998 and awarded an MBE in the 1991 New Zealand Honours. Also awarded the New Zealand Commemorative Medal in 1990.

Coached New Zealand riders at four Olympic Games (1984, 1988, 1992 and 2000) and was also named coach for the boycotted 1980 Moscow Olympics. Coached Gary Anderson to win New Zealand’s first Olympic cycling medal when third in the pursuit at Barcelona in 1992.

In seven world championships his riders won a gold, two silver and one bronze medal and at six World Cup meetings there were five victories, five silvers and 11 bronze medals.

At four Commonwealth Games (1982 until 1998) the record was six titles, six seconds and 10 third placings.

In five Oceania championships there were 20 elite victories, 15 second placings and nine bronze medals.

Ron’s overall international record at elite level comprised 32 wins, 28 silver medals and 32 third placings.

He has served on numerous national committees and is a life member of Cycling New Zealand.

Trevor Coker

Trevor Coker

(1949–1981) | Rowing

Trevor Coker is pictured second from the left.

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. Also a member of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.

During six years of international rowing the late Trevor Coker, a member of the Wanganui Rowing Club, was a key member of New Zealand eight-oar crews which won Olympic and European titles as well as two bronze medals in world championships.

Along with Whanganui Collegiate School’s Simon Dickie, as coxswain, he was in the New Zealand eight that upset the powerful Russians and East Germans in the 1971 European championships in Copenhagen.

The following year at the Munich Olympic Games the same Kiwi amateurs reaped further gold medal success by beating the fully professional Eastern bloc crews.

Coker was also in the Rusty Robertson-coached New Zealand eights that finished third in the world championships in Lucerne (1974) and Nottingham (1975) and at the Montreal Olympics (1976).

Coleman Family

Coleman Family


Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

Percy Coleman (1897–1965)

Broke the world grass track flying mile record six times between 1916 (52sec) and 1929 (44.8sec – 80mph).

In 18 years of racing he won more than 200 events, racing with success in New Zealand, Britain, America and Australia.

He set Australasian records for one, 10 and 15 miles on an Indian motorcycle in 1914.

In road racing Percy 'Cannonball' Coleman became the first British rider to exceed 100mph, at Brooklands (England) in 1919.

His longest race was over 200 miles in the American national championships at Marion.

Coleman was the first New Zealand rider to represent New Zealand at the Isle of Man, in 1930.

Rod Coleman (1926– )

Was the first New Zealander to win at the Isle of Man, riding an AJS to victory in the 350cc race at a speed of 91.51mph in 1954.

He scored road victories in England, Sweden, Casablanca, Belgium, Switzerland and Australia as well as in New Zealand, plus other placings in France, Holland and Spain.

In major international racing Rod Coleman scored 10 victories, was runner-up 16 times and placed third in 10 events.

He was fourth in both the world 350cc and 500c championship classes in 1952 and third in the 350cc and sixth in the 500cc during the 1954 world championships.

Rod Coleman won numerous New Zealand motorcycle road titles and was also a national jet boat champion driver.

Bob Coleman (1931– )

A top-class New Zealand grass track and motocross rider for 21 years, winning 12 national championships.

He won five New Zealand one mile grass titles between 1949 and 1970, three New Zealand beach racing finals, two New Zealand miniature TT grass-track titles and two NZ motocross championships.

On the road Bob Coleman was NZ 350cc TT champion in 1954 and two years later was fourth in the Ulster 250cc Grand Prix as well as racing at the Isle of Man.


The Coleman family, which was instrumental in becoming New Zealand agents for some of the world’s top motorcycle companies, played a major role in motorcycle racing in the country and also establishing the internationally renowned Wanganui Cemetery Circuit.

In addition Percy, Rod and Bob all represented New Zealand at the world famous Isle of Man races over a period of a quarter of a century.

Arthur Holder

(1874–1952) | Athletics

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

Ran the world’s fastest 440 yards hurdles time of 58.8sec at Auckland in 1897 over 3ft 6in hurdles compared with 3ft hurdles in other countries.

At the same New Zealand championships, Holder won the 120 yards hurdles, 250 and 440 yards sprints and was runner-up in the 100 yards.

The same year he also won the Australasian 440 yards hurdles championship.

Holder, who had stood down for three years to switch from professional to amateur ranks at the age of 23, won the New Zealand 120 yards hurdles in 1898 but a ruptured stomach in the 400 yards hurdles final ended his running career.

Alan McIntyre

(1949– ) | Hockey

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. Also a member of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.

From becoming the youngest ever player to represent New Zealand at hockey, as a 15-year-old Whanganui High School student, Alan McIntyre went on to win an Olympic title and play for his country more than 50 times over a period of 12 years.

His career started with a 1–0 loss to Australia in Hobart in 1965 but there was sweet revenge at Montreal in 1976 when the Kiwis beat Australia 1–0 for the Olympic gold medal.

McIntyre, who represented Whanganui as a 14-year-old against India in 1964 and was also a champion tennis player until he left for Wellington in 1969, also played in the 1968 Mexico Olympics when New Zealand finished seventh despite only losing one match to Holland.

After being an international between 1965 and 1970, he returned to the Kiwi side in 1973 and played in the 1973 (Amsterdam) and 1975 (Kuala Lumpur) world championships before the Olympic golden success the following year.

Wanganui Sportsman of the Year in 1967.

Bill Osborne

Bill Osborne

(1955– ) | Rugby

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2008.

A powerful mid-field world class inside back who played 48 matches, including 16 tests, for New Zealand between 1975 and 1982.

He started his international career against Scotland in 1975 at Auckland in the water-logged test and also played against South Africa, the British Isles, France, England, Ireland and Wales, scoring 10 tries.

Osborne, who started his first-class career for Whanganui as an 18-year-old, played for the New Zealand Māori side in 1975, 1977, 1978, NZ Colts in 1974, the North Island in 1975, 1980, 1984 and was a New Zealand triallist three times.

From the Kaierau club, he played 81 times for Whanganui between 1973–1984, for Whanganui–King Country in 1977 and for Waikato in 1985–86.

Wanganui Sportsman of the Year in 1975 and 1977.

Arthur Porritt

Arthur Porritt

(1900–1994) | Athletics

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. Also a member of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.

The Whanganui-born sprinter, who was national 100 yards champion in 1923, won a bronze medal over the same distance at the Paris Olympic Games in 1924.

While at Oxford University on a Rhodes Scholarship, he was also chosen for the Amsterdam Olympics as a sprinter but injury kept him out of action and he was named New Zealand team captain. He was also educated at Whanganui Collegiate School.

Porritt, also a talented rugby player who played for Dunedin University, managed the New Zealand team at the 1934 London Empire Games and also at the 1936 Berlin Olympics where he persuaded the great Jack Lovelock to switch from 5000m to 1500m which he duly won.

The first Baron of Wanganui and Hampstead served as president of the Commonwealth Games Federation and as a member of the International Olympic Committee.

A surgeon, health administrator and writer, Porritt later became the first New Zealander to become governor-general of this country.

Billy Webb

Billy Webb

(1886–1960) | Rowing

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. Also a member of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.

He became the first New Zealander to win the world professional single sculls title when he beat Australian Charles Towns on the Parramatta River in Sydney by five lengths in 1907, covering the demanding three mile course in 20min 45sec.

So delighted were the citizens of Whanganui there was even the suggestion that the city be renamed 'Webbanui'.

Webb, who won 1000 pounds for his Sydney victory, defended the title by two and three quarter lengths on the Whanganui River in 1908 against twice Australian champion Richard Tressider before 25,000 spectators including Premier Sir Joseph Ward.

Later that same year Richard Arnst (Akaroa) de-throned Webb by six lengths on the Whanganui River and in 1909 held off a Webb title challenge by three lengths on the same river.

Webb, who rowed for the Union Boat Club, won the New Zealand amateur singles in 1903 and 1906, the New Zealand amateur doubles in 1905 and 1906 and the New Zealand professional singles in 1915.

Les Wilson

Les Wilson

(1952– ) | Hockey

Inducted into the Sports Hall of Fame in 2008. Also a member of the New Zealand Sports Hall of Fame.

Still playing hockey in 2008, 39 years after he first started, Les Wilson was a member of the 1976 New Zealand squad that won the 1976 Montreal Olympic title.

Wilson, who played international hockey for seven years, was the reserve goal-keeper for the Olympic final when the Black Sticks beat Australia 1–0 for the gold medals.

He made his international debut for the 1973 Kiwis who played in England and Belgium en route to the world championships in Amsterdam.

Two years later he played against Canada and India in New Zealand and also repped in two Champion Trophy tournaments – Perth in 1977 and Pakistan in 1979.

Wilson, who played more than 150 times for Whanganui between 1971 and 1983, has played for New Zealand Masters in recent years in Hong Kong, Kuala Lumpur, Australia and Korea as well as in New Zealand.