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Rugby Football came to Buller in 1886, which year Westport Club was founded.

The preliminaries leading up to that historical event was recorded in THE WESTPORT TIMES (Westport), Tuesday July 13, thus —

“On Saturday afternoon a large number of football players assembled on Martin’s Island . . . The play all round was good … Now that football has received a start in Westport it should be kept up. We are informed that a meeting will be held this week to organise a Club.”

The actual date of the formation of Westport Club was not put on record, but it is obvious that it took place during the week ending July 17, 1886, for THE WESTPORT TIMES, of Tuesday July 20, reported —

“The Westport Football Club began its career on Saturday afternoon with a scratch match. Since last Saturday good goal posts had been erected, and the field of play had been extended to it’s full width”

The above paragraph leaves no doubt of the existence of Westport Club. Westport Club’s first Inter-Club contest was against Reefton Club at Westport, on September 18, a draw (0-0) resulting. At this time Greymouth, Hokitika and Reefton Clubs had been founded. Naturally for so important an event, interest was high, the Mayor declaring a half-holiday to allow a big crowd to assemble, and it is on record that the launches “Tay” and “Terrier” did a thriving business ferrying the fans across the river to Martin’s Island. This first side to do battle for the district comprise of: __Murrell, A.Heron, A.P.Buick, G.Falla, Tressider, R.Tyler, C.Holdsworth, Thompson, Irving, H. Asmuss, E. Boswell, J.Dreyer, B.Mitford, K.Pearce and E.Robinson.

In the next season (1887) a tournament between Greymouth and Westport Clubs was held at Westport. Following the series, THE WESTPORT ADVERTISER (Westport), of June 23, published the following comment:

“The Reefton football team went home this morning. The Greymouth team leaves tonight. The tournament passed over without serious accident , but both the visiting teams looked as though they had been — well, playing football, and a few get along better with two sticks than one.”

The tournament was won by Westport Club, winning against both opponents. The matches were staged at Martin’s Island ground.

A second Club for the area was formed in 1888. This was Cape Foulwind Club, whose life, however, was a short one.

In May, 1890, West Coast Union was founded at Greymouth. Two of the contracting Clubs were the Buller Clubs, Westport Club and Cape Foulwind Club. The latter Club ceased soon afterwards, but Westport Club took part in the Club competition, to continue therein until the founding of Buller Union. One Westport Club member represented West Coast in 1893. This was A. Eastgate

At this time another Club commenced at Westport taking the title of Wanderers Club. It later changed its name to Westport Union Club, and on fielding a junior side gave that team the title of Native Rose Club. It was not uncommon during this period for a Club’s junior section to be called something different from its elder relation. In 1892 Charleston Club appeared, and later still Addison’s had a side.