In The Beginning
North Epping Rangers Football Club was formed In March 1963 at a meeting held in the vestry of All Saints Church in Malton Rd, North Epping. This meeting was attended by 5 or 6 fathers and a handful of boys, under the guidance of the President and Secretary of the Gladesville Hornsby Football Association (GHFA).
Three North Epping teams took the field on the first Saturday in April 1963 dressed in school shorts and T-Shirts, proudly displaying the distinctive tangerine and black.
The first teams were the under 8’s, under 11’s, and under 13’s. It was evident from the enthusiasm displayed by players and parental support that North Epping had the potential for rapid expansion and development of Junior football in the district. In fact the club fielded 6 teams in the second season, and 9 the following year.
The foundation committee comprised:
President: Doug Lewis
Secretary: Alex Rolston
Treasurer: Cec Doyle
Coaches: John DeGioia and Duncan Macdermid
The netball section was formed when Daphne Baker realised that after the success of football in 1963, 1964, and 1965, there was nothing for girls in the area.
Daphne made approaches to the Ryde/Eastwood Women’s Basketball Assoc. which was willing to take teams. An ad in the NEPA (Nth Epping Progress Association) newsletter helped attract 23 women and girls to a meeting. Mrs. McGuigan offered to coach the anticipated 2 or 3 teams. Within one afternoon, 56 girls arrived at training and they entered 8 teams in the 1966 competition. This grew over the years and in fact, in 1974 there were 35 teams.
The foundation netball committee was President Daphne Baker, Secretary Barbara Farrell, and Treasurer, June Purnell. The committee originally approached the football club for permission to play as a combined club, but this was voted against at a football meeting in March 1966. However, the meeting granted permission to use the club’s name and colors of tangerine and black. The football club also helped purchase the first roll of material to make the netball uniforms.
On 11th September 1967, Daphne, and her group won a two-year battle when it was agreed that the football and netball groups would amalgamate. On 9th October 1967, the North Epping Rangers Sports Club came into being.
It is interesting to note that in those original years and well into the 1970s, all of the club uniforms for both football and netball were made by parents from material purchased by the club.
Also in those early years, there was no car park and no Tennis Courts. Mostly, spectators would drive up and watch the game from their cars, which would park around the football field.
In 1971, the club purchased a caravan for use as a Canteen for football at North Epping Oval and for netball at Woods Street. Also in 1971, the AGM authorised a fortnightly newsletter to ensure that information on all sections of the club was available to members. So “The Score” was started and is still being produced on a fortnightly basis today.
Woods Street was originally used for netball and then in later years two football fields were added providing 5 netball courts and two football fields. In 1977 the club was advised that netball could not be played at Wood Street and the netball section moved from Ryde/Eastwood Netball Association and joined the Hill District Netball Association.
The club grew extensively over the years and enhanced its facilities and services within the club. In the early seventies, a Youth Group was formed, which held various functions and activities for the teenagers in the area. In the late ’60s, a Cricket section was formed and competed in the Hornsby Districts competition and this section operated until the early 90s.In 1972 the club formed a Little Athletics section with the competition running from September to February at Pennant Hills Park. The club even formed a Ladies Auxiliary in 1973, which helped with fundraising and conducted social events for the Ladies of Nth Epping.
During these years the club fielded around 28-30 football and netball teams. This represented around 300 families and 550-600 players. Today 40 years on we have around 28 football and 25 netball teams.
For over 8 years the club had been approaching Hornsby Council for the erection of a ClubHouse or Community Centre. In the first instance, Wood Street was proposed as the site. In 1975 the clubhouse was finally erected at Nth Epping Oval. This was an extension of a basic amenities block then existed at Nth Epping Oval.
In September 1974 some 500 football and netball players took part in the first Presentation in March. The teams marched to the sterling sounds of the Epping District Scottish Pipe Band. Excitement was high as the teams, each with their individual team banners gathers at Rowley’s corner shop (Cnr Malton and Norfolk) and prepared to march. The line of marchers eventually stretched ¾ of a mile (about 1200 metres). The normally quiet streets of Nth Epping on a Sunday afternoon were alive with bright uniforms and happy faces as local residents lined the route to cheer players. A crowd of 600 or more spectators was at Nth Epping Oval where the players were awarded a club pennant. At the completion of the day the club distributed free hamburgers and drinks to the children.
Prior to this traditional march, which is still going strong today, Family Picnic days (Presentation Day) were conducted at St Ive’s Showground. These Picnic Days were held at the completion of the competition and involved the whole family with various family novelty races.
In 1980 negotiations with Hornsby Council were resolved successfully, and Tennis Courts were started and completed in 1981. The Tennis Courts were officially opened on 31st March with an exhibition match, concluding with afternoon tea. The erection of the courts substantially enhanced the club’s Tennis Section, which had been operating for many years with competitive Tennis Teams, playing in a local competition. The tennis courts were built where the grass netball courts were previously located.
At the same time, Nth Epping Oval was greatly improved with the laying of turf on the slopes on the Woodridge side of the oval.
In 2002, the club formed its first all-women’s teams to play in the Gladesville Hornsby North West Sydney Women’s Football competition on Sundays. We registered teams in the Under 11’s, Under 16’s, and All Age.
In its 30 years of association with Gladesville Hornsby Football Association, the club has been well represented in its decision-making structures and our members have been recognized for their contributions to sport in our area. North Epping Rangers officers who have held positions in GHFA include:
1969-1970 – Geoff Lee was President and made a Life Member in 1972,
1977-1980 – Laurie Lynagh was President and made a Life member in 1980. Laurie was also Treasurer from 1983-1987.
1983-1986 – Jim Forest was President and made a Life Member in 1986. Jim was also Vice President in 1982
1988-1990 – Mark Payne was Treasurer and in 1991-92 Secretary
1996 – Gordon Slimmon was Vice President.
1999 – Steve Colquhoun was awarded the Association Medal
Ladies Jogging Club
In 1971 Daphne Baker formed a Ladies Jogging Club with about 40 women who used to jog around North Epping Oval in the summer months on a Monday Night. Even then the Council could cause problems and Daphne was initially refused permission to use the oval.
In the sixties and early seventies netball section was always reported in the minutes as Women’s Basketball.
Old Registration Fees
Family Registration – $7.00
Non-Dependant Player – $3.00
up to Under 10’s – 30 cents
11-16’s – 40 cents
17’s and over – 60 cents
Netball – 30c
The 1980 AGM voted to allow girls to play football in all teams.
In the 1970s Mr. Ted Whitfield donated all the Club Pennants that were presented to the players.
In 1973 a relationship was established with a club in Wellington (NSW) under which football and netball teams would visit and play games. Players were billeted out for the tournaments. This was a reciprocal arrangement with Wellington visiting Nth Epping every 2nd year.
In 1973, the club decided to present a Section’s Shield to the football and netball Teams who had scored the most goals within the club. Les and Bob Watton of the BP Nth Epping donated the original shields. This award is still presented today.
In 1990 ID Cards were brought into play by GHFA. It was noted that Registration now took longer through obtaining Photos from all players, especially All Age teams.