Club History

Originally Founded 1921
This Club has operated under many names since its inception in 1921. It started at Onehunga Methodist Church to give a social sporting outlet to the young men and of course this encouraged the young ladies to come along also. It then moved under the auspice of Onehunga Athletic Club and eventually operated as the Onehunga Association Football Club in Princes St Onehunga, on grounds opposite the Exchange Hotel.

In 1965 the club moved yet again and take over the sports grounds that had been made on Mangere Mountain, this land was first used by the Mangere Rugby Club in 1949 with three teams. The club was renamed Onehunga-Mangere United, in the 1980s the football club combined with the then popular summer sport of softball to form a sports club, each sport operating as a separate code under a overarching entity called Onehunga Mangere United Sports Club.

Onehunga-Mangere United has certainly experienced the highs of winning the Chatham Cup and many other trophies through the years and also times of sinking down through the senior grades. No matter how the teams do, they are always supported by the parents and fellow players on the sidelines. There have been All Whites who played for the Club and many Reps in the grade football teams.

Many strong friendships have been made as the enthusiastic parents worked so hard to raise sufficient funds to build and furnish the Clubrooms now well established on top of the Council owned changing rooms.

Committees have worked hard through the decades and the strength of the Club is seen at Junior Prize-givings overflowing the David Lange Hall at Waterlea School.  The Club has celebrated reunions at 70, 75 years and in 2021 Onehunga-Mangere United celbrated our centennary - so many past players were enthusiastic to come back to meet up with old pals and enjoy reminiscences of games played over the years, when their friendships were first made.

This is a club with a very strong family feeling. You can see the children of our past players chasing that round ball over the same pitches that their parents had run over in years gone by, showing off their inherited skills. The weekly prize giving for the juniors is done before the Seniors every Saturday and the Clubrooms are packed for this event. Boys and girls are encouraged to enjoy these sports.

A little more club history:

Alan Fraser
From Club Life Member: Val Payne concerning Alan Fraser who left Auckland to join the rest of his family in the South Island several years ago and who has been over the years a tremendous support and asset to OM and to Auckland Football:
"I think that Alan Fraser is still our worthy Patron.
In his Christmas letter there is an article from some local paper telling us that the Mainland Football Assn had presented him with a Lifetime Achievement award earlier this year.
Alan (74) had recently resigned from the Mainland Board after 55 years in Soccer administration.
He started the Canterbury Junior Assn in 1952 as a 19 year old Atlantis (now Cashmere) player. This was the Club he joined after leaving Christchurch Boys High and he wanted to develop a Junior Section. This began his service to JFA that ran until 1981. He has also been chairman of Canterbury JFA and NZJFA from 1982-1984.He moved to Auckland to become Auckland Soccer’s CEO for the next 16 years until 2000. He was also President of NZ Women's Assoc and joined Mainland Board in 2002. However it is some of his work at less exalted levels that has given him the most satisfaction- particularly getting Soccer established as a sport in North Canterbury.
He started Rangiora Club in 1965 when he advertised and four or five people came to his house for a meeting. He played for the new Club himself a couple of seasons.
A highlight in his career was to receive the MBE in 1978 for his services to sport. He acknowledged the wonderful support he has had from his family in earlier years as he would never have accomplished so much without them. His wife Loris used to cut the stencils and reel off the draws for the JFA on a Gestetner, in the 50s.
While he is bowing out of administration because of his ill health after four strokes, Alan has six Grandchildren playing Soccer, three for Rangiora and he continues to go along on Saturdays to watch them playing. He also helps out in the Mainland Office one morning a week advising them on the misconduct reports.
In November 2007 the Canterbury-Westland Soccer Board also presented him with an award for outstanding service to Winter Sport. Lotto sponsored Loris and his daughter and grandchildren to the dinner where it was awarded.
We wish Alan and his family all the best for the future."
Digger Douglas
Digger Douglas was born in 1919 and was actively involved with OMUAFC and in its previous forms – Onehunga Soccer Club etc for most of his life. Digger whose proper name was Earl, was named “Digger” by his father when he returned from serving with the Australian Diggers in the First World War. The name stuck for the rest of his life.
He had to wait till he was 12 years old in 1931 to play Soccer because the only choice was Rugby back then and the Headmaster gave detention if you wanted to play Soccer!
Digger recalls being coached under streetlights at Trafalgar Street. In those days there were only 8 Senior teams in the whole of Auckland.
At Waikaraka Park sheep had to be herded off the paddock first so that games could be played. There was plenty of sheep dung but the grass was kept short!
When they played games at the Auckland Domain – which was a favoured pitch – they washed their dirty legs in the ornamental pond there, sometimes gaining the attention of the local constabulary!
In 1938 Digger remembers being chosen to play Wellington and Waikato at Wellington in the Flyger Rosebowl Tournament. He travelled to the Capital on the all night express – a pretty tough journey both ways – especially when he had to be back for work on the Monday morning.
He left to go overseas to the war in 1941 and was away until 1946. Digger stopped playing in 1950 and says his heart was more in the Administration from then on. He enjoyed the meetings and being able to help the club to do better each year from the organisational point of view. He was involved as Secretary, Treasurer, Club Captain – in fact most of the various roles at one time or another.
He was privileged to have been Club Secretary in 1954 when the club won the Chatham Cup.
He was very keen on young people being involved in Soccer and was responsible for setting up the tournament for 8th and 9th Graders and it was later named after him. He used to love going to watch the youngsters play. Digger passed away in September 1999 and is remembered for all his effort to the club and soccer in Auckland by this tournament.