1910 - 1914
Nomads United A.F.C was founded in 1910 but not officially registered until 13th March 1911 in the Eastern/Central Christchurch area, after a group of Soccer players had been competing informally in Wellington and Christchurch since 1909. Its first meeting was held in Mr. Perry’s boot shop in Armagh Street. It seems that the original intention was to establish the club’s headquarters temporarily in a particular suburb, create an interest in soccer as a sport, and then leave a nucleus organisation behind before moving to another suburb and repeating the exercise. It is a fact, that in the original first constitution, the main aim was “To establish and promote the game of soccer in Canterbury”. Indeed only Rangers of Christchurch (who were formed a few short months before Nomads), together with Northern of Dunedin and Nelson United, are older than Nomads in the South Island.
Many other suburban clubs were originally formed by a spin-off of old Nomads followers, players and coaches. The Club colours – Red, White and Blue, were those first chosen following the image of the then and now still prominent Chelsea Club in London. During those early years from 1911, through the 1920’s and 1930’s, Nomads continued to grow and were apparently always on or near the top in Men’s Football. Our name appears on many of Canterbury’s oldest trophies such as the English Cup, which Nomads won in 1916. In 1912 we won the Canterbury Shield. This Shield now forms the centrepiece of the Hurley Shield, as it is today.
1915 - 1930
English Park opened on the 1st May 1915 and one week later, on the 8th May of that year Nomads played the first club game on the park, a friendly match against a team called Christchurch United, not the same composition, and won 2-0. It is understood that Nomads’ centre forward of the day, Willie Howie, scored the first goal on English Park.
1930 - 1939
During the 1930’s, Nomads home ground was at Richmond Park and in 1932 were runners-up in the Chatham Cup. In 1938 we were the beaten South Island Finalists in the Chatham Cup losing 10-1 to Mosgiel. In that year Nomads contributed not less than six players to the Canterbury team.
Back in the 1930’s it was realised that if soccer was to progress for New Zealand born players, the local lads had to be guided into the code early. Many clubs at that time tried to establish boys teams and indeed, the Club Captain of Nomads, a fellow by the name of Ken Johnstone, who was our keenest advocate of boys football, was an early, perhaps and inaugural member of what is today the C.J.F.A.
One of Canterbury Soccer’s stalwarts for many years and a life Member of the then C.F.A – the late Mr Trevor Gottermeyer, joined Nomads in 1938 and was the Club Secretary for three years from 1939.
1939 - 1960
During the 1939 – 45 2nd World War, some 48 Nomads members went over to serve, sadly two of them didn’t return. Through the 1950’s and into the 1960’s, when the club joined forces with Shirley to become Shirley/Nomads, under such Past Presidents as Wyn Jones and Maurice McKenzie, we became a Registered Incorporated Society, registered with the Justice Department. Our home ground at that stage was Malvern Park and later McFarlane Park. By now soccer had reached far more competitive levels, with more teams around to do battle with and honours were increasingly more difficult to achieve. Such club names as Celtic, Thistle, Atlantis and the Dutch formed teams of Neerlandia passed in and out of soccer history. H.S.O.B was formed in the mid 50’s. However, Nomads continued to be a force in both Men’s and Junior Football and our senior sides were arguably at their strongest during this era.
In the late 1950’s we commenced our regular association with Northern of Dunedin on an annual Home and Away basis for our seniors. This later reverted to our Juniors and the Rennel Trophy, a well sought after reward, was eagerly challenged for each year up until the late 1990’s where cost seemed to have ended what was a real Annual Social Event for the Club. Also during the 1950’s the club ran Annual Balls at the Mayfair Lounge, which were generally attended by all the clubs.
1960 - 1970
In 1961, Dave Stapley headed a team who ran the club’s 50th Jubilee.
By 1969 when it became time for Nomads to move out of the Shirley area, soccer was well established all over Christchurch except in the Northwest in the Papanui/Bishopdale area. It was decided to settle permanently in this area. Negotiations with the then Waimairi County Council produced a market garden site in Claridges Road for playing fields. This site is now known as Tulett Park and is name after the Tulett Family, which has a long residential history in the Bishopdale location.
1970 - 1980
At this time – May 1972 our current name of Nomads United A.F.C (Inc) was incorporated and duly registered.
By 1973, the first two grounds, plus the rest of Tulett Park still in the rough, Redwood Park and four local school ground were being used to capacity by the club’s 21 junior and senior teams. Two junior teams were even practicing on a small children’s playground in Grampian Street.
In 1974 the Council levelled the land out and cut two Junior and two extra Senior pitches on Tulett Park. In 1974 permission was granted to build a temporary club facility on the park and this was carried out early in 1975 at a relatively expensive cost at the time, as the cost of tapping into the water supply some 420 metres along Claridges Road had to be met by the club, as well as 140 metres of underground power cable from the street and the installation of a septic tank. However the “Tin Shed” as it was affectionately known, still stands today as a reminder of the Club's previous best efforts.
Also in 1975 the club was blessed with a new modern day phenomenon, the formation of the Ladies section.
1980 - 1990
In 1983 following the World Cup in Spain our total playing strength reached an all time high of 42 teams covering all sections. The early to mid 1980’s as far as our Senior Men’s Team was concerned, was termed the “Stewart Years” in recognition of the successes gained under the coach of that time – Mr Martin Stewart, who incidentally is still involved with the club today. At this time, the club was again on the map and won the Hertz Southern League.
Although the successes of all the Club’s sections in the later 70’s and early 80’s were a joy to behold, the club itself was on the verge of bankruptcy. So in January 1981 a loan of $3,100.00 personally guaranteed by five Committee Members of the day was granted by the then Canterbury Savings Bank to set the Club back on its feet. Fortunately, the loan was repaid in two years and by 1987 through many and varied fundraising activities, the Club was able to boast a healthy current account balance, together with investments in the Clubrooms account of $75,000.00 and thus the current facility came about.
As an interim measure, to provide a focus and a meeting place for the club, a three-year lease was taken out on 170 square metres of first floor space in the Papanui Indoor Cricket Centre, 27 Harewood Road – close by the Papanui retail area. A Club office, which operated four days a week, opened on 2nd February 1986 and an equipment storage room and a large meeting come social room, which went through some major furbishing, was put to great use, and finally brought the club, which had grown amazingly, under one roof.
The 75th Jubilee of the Club was held at these premises, prior to the Opening of the current facility in April 1989. The 75th Jubilee was a well-attended Weekend, which was kicked off in the old traditional style, which these days would be frowned upon, with a ‘Smokers Night’. This was followed on the Saturday with an Invitational Match at Tulett Park and then a well-attended Social Function on the Saturday Evening. The conclusion of the weekend was a luncheon on the Sunday with as much memorabilia on display as could be amassed.
1990 - 2000
In the years running up to the opening of the current Clubrooms, and following its completion, a healthy band of fundraisers worked tirelessly, four nights a week raising money around the ‘establishments’ of Christchurch to pull together funds to cover the cost of the Clubrooms. This was an amazing contribution of time and effort, one which would be hard pressed in these times to repeat. Following the opening of the current facility on Tulett Park, much effort and time was spent bringing the club together and making good use of what is heralded as one of the best if not the best Soccer Facility in the South Island/NZ as there are not a lot of Clubs which can boast Clubrooms, Changing Facility, Referees/First Aid/Equipment Rooms, a League Pitch, 3 Senior Pitches and 4 Junior Pitches – all at one location.
2000 - 2015
The turn of the New Millennium perhaps brought about the biggest change in administration that Nomads had seen for a number of years, with some long standing volunteers opting for the quiet life. At this point in time, the club had the highest number of Life Members, all who were extremely committed and shared very significant roles within the club.
Jim Waddell - The Club Patron
Kate Kingsland Secretary
Pat Topp Past President/Club Captain/Coach
Noeline and Frank Rutherford Players/Committee Members/Ladies, Men’s and Junior Coaches
Julie Hammond Convenor/Coach/Player/Manager
Eric Waller Minileague convenor for many years
The Centennial Celebrations brought about an additional two Life Members
Murray Seaward – Club President/Coach/Patron and Centennial Convenor.
Murray has put a lot of work into Nomads and helped the club significantly at its time of need.
Harry Smits long-time Club Man who was the Longest Registered Playing Member of the Club.
The club has grown significantly to be the second largest club in Canterbury with a total of over 1000 members in 2019. The club's membership is consistently growing year on year for last four years at a rate of over 10% per year. The Executive Committee under the leadership of Alison Philip (Secretary), Jodi Gauci (Treasurer) and Colin Philip (President) continues to support the Club, the Committee and Staff and lead it from strength to strength!
The Club employed its first full time staff member in 2017 and currently has three full time staff involved in administration and football development. The Christchurch City Council upgraded the Number One pitch at Tulett Park in 2017 to a state of the art sand based surface. Along with a number of other fields in various sizes (master, senior, intermediate and junior) its a great place to play football at!