HOW THE CLUB WAS STARTED In 1909, members of the North Shore Rugby Club's 3rd Grade B Team decided to change to the new code after being impressed with the new type of open football that they had seen the "All Golds" Rugby League team play at Victoria Park.
A meeting was convened and held in Tarry's Hall, Northcote in March 1910. At this meeting, the decision to make the change was made, thus founding the first Junior Club to be registered with the Northern Union Rugby League code.
CLUB COLOURS The colours were the same as today - gold and black. A black jersey with a wide gold band around the middle which gave rise to the popular term "yellow bellies".
CLUB NAME The first name was the Northcote "Ramblers" League Football Club. The local "home" ground was Clow's paddock in Gladstone Rd, Northcote.
As Northcote was a Junior club, the team played against teams from five senior clubs, City, Ponsonby, Newton, North Shore and Maritime. In the first two years with the code, Northcote took out the Championship twice in both 1910 and 1911, a good start to what has since become a winning club throughout the grades over the years.
THE CLUB GAINS SENIOR STATUS In 1948, due to the 1947 Senior "B" tying with Zora for the championship, the club was granted senior status. However, 1949 was a difficult year for the executive as a change in the rules of the A.R.L. now demanded that senior clubs field a senior, senior reserve and senior 3rd grade teams. The club overcame this difficulty and fielded a 4th and 5th grade as well as four schoolboy teams.
THE CLUB HEADQUARTERS IS BUILT The increase in playing strength of the Club made it necessary to have a headquarters handy to Stafford Park. After much discussion and many meetings, it was decided to build the headquarters using voluntary labour. To this end, Harley McLaughlin drew up a plan for a 60ft x 30ft shed. A lease of ground for the building was obtained from the Northcote Borough Council. In the meantime, as a temporary measure, a beach shed was purchased from Takapuna beach. Its rather exotic shaped roof gave it the name of the "Golden Pagoda". However, it proved valuable for a number of years as a dressing shed.
Working Bees were organised, and over the next 17 months, the shed gradually took shape due to the untiring efforts of a loyal team of volunteers made up from players, committee members and supporters. The building was officially opened at a social gathering which was attended by the various officials from the A.R.L. and local council together with several old players who had played for the club when it was first formed.
DISTRICT SCHEME IS INTRODUCED The Auckland Rugby League administration had stated their intention to bring in a District Scheme to reduce the number of senior clubs and to improve the playing standard at senior level. To do this, it was suggested that some of the old clubs could amalgamate at senior level but retain their identity as junior clubs. To this end, meetings were convened with North Shore in 1958 with the result that a combined senior team was formed called Northern Districts and containing players from both North Shore and Northcote. The first team under this scheme played in 1958 under the coaching of the renowned Kiwi coach, Scotty McClymont. The Senior and Reserves teams played in all white jerseys with a yellow and black vee.
The District club thrived for some years and some fine players came into prominence, several making the Kiwi team. These were Tom Hadfield, George Turner and Rata Harrison. With the District Scheme committee being a separate entity, it allowed the Northcote Club to concentrate on its juniors and in its first year of reversion although only fielding 3 junior teams it was successful in winning the 1st Junior competition providing a welcome boost to club morale.
RETURN TO CLUB FOOTBALL WITH END OF DISTRICT SCHEME. During the 1963 season, the growing pressure against the continuation of the District Scheme came to a head and at a meeting in August 1963 the clubs voted for the return to Club football. Fourteen clubs were nominated by the A.R.L. to enter the 1964 Senior competition and Northcote was one of these.
About this time, Bumper Powel - a retired Kiwi was appointed senior coach and produced a long run of winning games. A change in jersey design resulted in a gold jersey with black vertical stripes on the sleeves.
A NEW CLUB HEADQUARTERS IS PLANNED. After the original idea to build headquarters at the Birkenhead War Memorial Park having been thwarted by Government regulations and by-laws, it was decided to invest the Club's Special Building Fund in the purchase of a commercial property. At a special meeting held at the Stafford Park headquarters on May 18 1980, and chaired by Ron Lloyd, club members voted to purchase the present premises at Highbury, Birkenhead and convert part of them into Club rooms. The new clubrooms were opened in August 1980 and the Northcote club became the first in New Zealand to own and operate their own club from a commercial property. The clubrooms have been a very popular feature of club activity since opening providing a good quiet atmosphere in which club members, can relax, meet and drink socially.