How a young sailor’s love of football became part of Chatham Cup folklore

posted in: Chatham Cup, News, Uncategorized

As the teams and fans celebrate the winning of another Chatham Cup this weekend, one player will take home a special trophy and become part of football folklore.

He’ll have been awarded the Jack Batty Cup, a piece of silverware awarded to the Player of the Match in the cup final.

His name will join many others, including All Whites such as Duncan Cole, Michael McGarry and Ivan Vicelich.

But the most remarkable name on the trophy belongs to the player it’s named after — Jack Batty.

Jack Batty.

Batty was born in the English town of Godalming, Surrey, on July 6, 1901, one of four children.

At 16, he joined the Royal Navy and farewelled his family, serving on minesweepers in the North Sea during World War I.

After the war, Batty joined the crew of the HMS Chatham, a cruiser recommissioned and loaned to the New Zealand division of the Royal Navy.

HMS Chatham arrived in New Zealand on January 26, 1921.

Jack Batty was 19.

When the cruiser embarked on a circuit of New Zealand, with the aim of visiting all possible ports, the ship’s company formed a football team and undertook to play as many port teams as they could.

The games forged friendships with locals and generated vast amounts of goodwill between local footballers and the visiting sailors.

In gratitude for the hospitality received, the Chatham Cup trophy – a meticulous replica of the English FA Cup – was presented to the New Zealand Football Association on December 14, 1922, by Captain C.B. Prickett on behalf of its crew.

The trophy was paid for with money raised in the ship’s canteen.

The goalkeeper in the ship’s football team was Jack Batty.

HMS Chatham. Photo: Allan Green.

When HMS Chatham‘s tour of duty ended, he became a crew member of the HMS Philomel, ostensibly a training ship for the NZ Navy at the time.

Batty quickly settled into the New Zealand way of life, and became heavily involved in local football.

Amazingly, he won Chatham Cup winner’s medals with three different clubs — Harbour Board (1924), Tramways (1929) and Tramurewa (1931).

The centennial book 100 Years of Auckland Soccer recorded:

“In winning Chatham Cup medals with three different clubs, Jack Batty earned himself a special place in the history of the code in New Zealand.”

Batty’s commitment to football extended well beyond the pitch.

He played, coached, administered and was a member of the Auckland Junior Management Committee for many years.

He was occasionally a spokesperson for the Chatham Cup Old Boys Association, an organisation that no longer exists.

Batty’s record as a player is impressive. He represented Auckland numerous times during a career spanning ten years.

Between 1921 and 1930, he faced touring teams from Australia, China and Canada, as well as winning a considerable number of trophies with Auckland, during an era when representative football was highly-regarded.

Jack Batty’s Chatham Cup legacy continued through his family.

John Batty. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.
Jason Batty. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

His son, John Batty, was a member of the Blockhouse Bay team that lifted the Chatham Cup in 1970, becoming the first club to win a cup and National League double.

Jack’s grandson, Jason Batty, was a finalist in the 1995 Chatham Cup final, a member of the North Shore United side that lost to Waitakere City.

Like his grandfather, Jason Batty was an accomplished goalkeeper, becoming an All White and later the national side’s goalkeeping coach.

In 1984, the NZ Football Association felt it would be fitting that the Player of the Match in the Chatham Cup should receive a trophy bearing Jack Batty’s name.

Since then, a feature of Chatham Cup post-match celebrations has been the naming of the game’s outstanding player, who is presented the trophy by John Batty.

The tradition helps preserve the story of a young sailor whose love of football helped create one of the most heart-warming stories of New Zealand’s oldest cup competition, which celebrates its 100th birthday in 2023.

Main photo: Cashmere Technical’s Yuya Taguchi receives the Jack Batty Cup from John Batty (left) after the 2021 Chatham Cup final.

Scott Robson is awarded the Jack Batty Cup after being named Player of the Match for Wairarapa United, winners of the Chatham Cup in 2011. His right hand holds the trophy; in his left is a smaller replica which is kept by the player. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

Jack Batty Cup winners

1985 – Greg Brown (Napier City Rovers)
1986 – Duncan Cole (North Shore United)
1987 – Dave Reynolds (Gisborne City)
1988 – Steve Tate (Waikato United)
1989 – Michael McGarry (Christchurch United)
1990 – Michael McGarry (Christchurch United)
1991 – Dave Woodard (Wellington United)
1992 – Neal Cave (Miramar Rangers)
1993 – Paul Halford (Napier City Rovers)
1994 – Ivan Vicelich (Waitakere City)
1995 – Darren McClennan (Waitakere City)
1996 – Mark Foy (Mount Wellington)
1997 – Ivan Vicelich (Central United)

1998 – Terry Torrens (Central United)
1999 – Aaron Burgess (Dunedin Technical)
2000 – Jimmy Cudd (Napier City Rovers)
2001 – Paul Bunbury (University-Mount Wellington)
2002 – Leon Birnie (Napier City Rovers)
2003 – Kara Waetford (University-Mount Wellington)
2004 – Tim Butterfield (Miramar Rangers)
2005 – Ross Nicholson (Central United)
2006 – Phil Imray (Western Suburbs)
2007 – Luiz del Monte (Central United)
2008 – Ryan Zoghby (East Coast Bays)
2009 – Raf de Gregorio (Wellington Olympic)

2010 – Phil Imray (Miramar Rangers)
2011 – Scott Robson (Wairarapa United)
2012 – Emiliano Tade (Central United)
2013 – Andy Pitman (Cashmere Technical)
2014 – Stuart Kelly (Cashmere Technical)
2015 – Miles John (Napier City Rovers)
2016 – Tom Davis (Birkenhead United)
2017 – Mario Ilich (Central United)
2018 – Alec Solomons (Birkenhead United)
2019 – Sho Goto (Napier City Rovers)
2020 – No award (COVID disruption)
2021 – Yuya Taguchi (Cashmere Technical)
2022 – Dylan Manickum (Auckland City)

Chatham Cup’s 100th year

To celebrate the birthday of football’s oldest cup competition, Friends of Football have been publishing special features about the cup and its past. Here’s a selection …

The greatest final ever?

Two replays needed in 1972

The unlikely underdogs

An improbable campaign in 2003

A happy birthday

The Royal Navy’s role in the cup

A gruelling schedule

The team that refused to quit in 2023

Final in Gisborne

Controversy and a classic final in 1983

Away from Wellington

How the final moved from the capital

All the past winners — Chatham Cup

1923 – Seacliff (Otago)
1924 – Harbour Board (Auckland)
1925 – YMCA (Wellington)
1926 – Sunnyside (Christchurch)
1927 – Ponsonby
1928 – Petone
1929 – Tramways (Auckland)
1930 – Petone
1931 – Tramurewa (Auckland)
1932 – Wellington Marist
1933 – Ponsonby
1934 – Thistle (Auckland)
1935 – Hospital (Wellington)
1936 – Western (Christchurch)
1937 – competition cancelled due to lack of entries
1938 – Waterside (Wellington)
1939 – Waterside (Wellington)
1940 – Waterside (Wellington)
1941-44 – no competition due to World War II
1945 – Western (Christchurch)
1946 – Wellington Marist
1947 – Waterside (Wellington)
1948 – Christchurch Technical Old Boys
1949 – Petone
1950 – Eden (Auckland)
1951 – Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
1952 – North Shore United and Western (Christchurch) (shared)
1953 – Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
1954 – Onehunga
1955 – Western (Christchurch)
1956 – Stop Out (Wellington)
1957 – Seatoun
1958 – Seatoun

1959 – Northern (Dunedin)
1960 – North Shore United
1961 – Northern (Dunedin)
1962 – Hamilton Technical Old Boys
1963 – North Shore United
1964 – Mount Roskill
1965 – Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
1966 – Miramar Rangers
1967 – North Shore United
1968 – Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
1969 – Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
1970 – Blockhouse Bay
1971 – Western Suburbs (Wellington)
1972 – Christchurch United
1973 – Mount Wellington (Auckland)
1974 – Christchurch United
1975 – Christchurch United
1976 – Christchurch United
1977 – Nelson United
1978 – Manurewa
1979 – North Shore United
1980 – Mount Wellington (Auckland)
1981 – Dunedin City
1982 – Mount Wellington (Auckland)
1983 – Mount Wellington (Auckland)
1984 – Manurewa
1985 – Napier City Rovers
1986 – North Shore United
1987 – Gisborne City
1988 – Waikato United
1989 – Christchurch United
1990 – Mount Wellington (Auckland)
1991 – Christchurch United
1992 – Miramar Rangers
1993 – Napier City Rovers
1994 – Waitakere City

1995 – Waitakere City
1996 – Waitakere City
1997 – Central United (Auckland)
1998 – Central United (Auckland)
1999 – Dunedin Technical
2000 – Napier City Rovers
2001 – University-Mount Wellington (Auckland)
2002 – Napier City Rovers
2003 – University-Mount Wellington (Auckland)
2004 – Miramar Rangers
2005 – Central United (Auckland)
2006 – Western Suburbs (Wellington)
2007 – Central United (Auckland)
2008 – East Coast Bays
2009 – Wellington Olympic
2010 – Miramar Rangers
2011 – Wairarapa United (Masterton)
2012 – Central United
2013 – Cashmere Technical (Christchurch)
2014 – Cashmere Technical (Christchurch)
2015 – Eastern Suburbs (Auckland)
2016 – Birkenhead United (Auckland)
2017 – Onehunga Sports (Auckland)
2018 – Birkenhead United (Auckland)
2019 – Napier City Rovers
2020 – competition cancelled due COVID-19
2021 – Cashmere Technical (Christchurch)
2022 – Auckland City

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