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A Brief History
History is always an interwoven series of events and the Peter Harrison Memorial tournament is no exception.
For several seasons starting in 1983 the Hustlers attended an annual Easter Over 30 tournament in Rotorua.
With the demise of this tournament in 1989, Peter Harrison and a few senior members of the Hustlers such as
Murray Clark, Des Speechley, Andy Wallace, Andy Douglas, and HRH decided that The Hustlers could hold an Over 35 tournament.
This was to be at seasons end at Mangere Mountain open to any club or social team with players over 35 of age
who wanted to play in a round robin tournament with an emphasis on socialising after the competitive games were played.
So started the Hustlers Over 35 tournament.
Such was the social nature of these early tournaments the Hustlers had to all drink a measure of rum before our first game.
Peter Harrison of course decided that this was not quite enough, and would often imbibe in at least two cans of high octane beer between each game, a feat he encouraged all of us to follow.
Consequently the Hustlers never won their own tournament during these years, however we always won the friendliest team award, as well as the obligatory drinking games afterward.
Tragically Peter Harrison passed away twenty years ago while playing at this tournament, so the Hustlers quickly decided to rename the tournament "The Peter Harrison Memorial Tournament" in his honour.
Peter Harrison was not only the major force behind the foundation of the Hustlers, but was a stalwart of the Onehunga Mangere Football Club playing many games for the first team, reserve team, open grade, and Hustlers.
Peter and Irene's son Phil, also a Hustler, unfortunately passed away after a motorcycle accident nine years ago, so this tournament is also to honour Phil as well.
It should be mentioned that Irene Harrison is consistently present at every tournament to remember Peter and Phil's dedication to the OMUAFC and all who know Irene have great respect and admiration for what she has been through.
The tournament has changed slightly over the last few years, such as becoming an Over 40 tournament, playing pre-season on a Saturday, rather than the end of season on a Sunday, but the basic principles of competitive games with a lot of socialising will always remain.
Over the last few years a slightly younger and more competitive Hustler team has emerged and this has resulted in the Hustlers winning the tournament in 2010, 2011, and 2017.
This is a fantastic tournament to be involved in, so if anyone would like to enter or play for a team next year please contact Meang Lim or Steve Mateljan.
It's great fun and you will not be disappointed !!!
Geoff Faithfull aka HRH