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The Chatham Cup is New Zealand's premier knockout tournament in men's football . It is held annually, with the final being contested in the southern spring or late winter (August - October). This competition is not currently sponsored.


Held annually since 1923 (with the exception of 1937 and 1941-44), the cup is contested by teams from throughout the country. Typically between 120 and 150 teams take part, with extra time and penalty shoot-outs used to decide matches which end in ties (in the past, replays were used). Many of the early winners of the competition no longer exist, as soccer was not effectively organised in New Zealand until the advent of a national league in 1970, and still remains largely amateur. Prior to 1970, the final was held between the winners of separate North Islandmarker and South Islandmarker tournaments.

The cup itself was gifted to the then NZ Football Association in 1922 by the crew of HMS Chatham as a token of appreciation for the hospitality they had encountered on a visit to New Zealand. The actual trophy is modelled on the FA Cup.

Recent tournaments have been organised in a preliminary round, first round, second round, third round, fourth round, quarter-finals, semi-finals, and final. Competition begins in April, and the final is normally played in September. Early rounds (up to round four) are held on a regional basis, between teams within the country's three soccer regions (northern North Island, southern North Island, South Island).

The New Zealand Football Championship is contested between franchise teams, rather than traditional clubs, and these franchise teams do not compete in the Chatham Cup. There is currently no formal system of byes to later rounds (as there is, for example, in the FA Cup). Several top sides do, however, gain byes through to the second round. Between the 1970s and 1990s, when a national league was run between the country's top clubs (rather than regional franchises as at present), national league teams received byes to later stages of the competition.

From 1986-1988, the final was contested on a two-match home and away series, but in other years the final has been a single match. In 1952, the final finished 1-1, and the title was shared. A replay was used to decide the 1970, 1972 and 1983 finals, and penalty shoot-outs decided the 1990 and 2001 finals.

The most successful teams in the Chatham Cup have been Mount Wellington (seven wins, two of them since amalgamation with Auckland University), and Christchurch United and North Shore United (six wins each).

Jack Batty Memorial Cup

A Jack Batty Memorial Cup is presented annually to the player adjudged to have made to most positive impact in the Chatham Cup final. The trophy was donated by Jack's son, John Batty, himself a Chatham Cup winner with Blockhouse Bay in 1970. The winner of the 2009 Jack Batty Memorial Cup was Raf de Gregorio of Wellington Olympic.

Bob Smith Memorial Trophy

The Bob Smith Memorial Trophy is traditionally awarded to the runners-up in the Chatham Cup, though this has not always been the case, notably in the years 1982 to 1997, when the trophy's location was unknown.

Recent competitions


The quarter finals of the 2009 Chatham Cup were played in late July. In these matches, Three Kings United beat Caversham, Wellington Olympic defeated Forrest Hill Milford, Manurewa beat Nelson Suburbs, and Miramar Rangers beat Waitakere Citymarker. The semi-finals, played on 30 August, saw Wellington Olympic beat Manurewa 2-0 in Wellington and Three Kings United beat Miramar Rangers 2-1 in Auckland.

The 2009 Chatham Cup final was played on 20 September 2009 at North Harbour Stadiummarker, North Shore Citymarker. Wellington Olympic came back from being 1-0 down after three minutes to win their first Chatham Cup by two goals to one.


The quarter finals of the 2008 Chatham Cup were played over the weekend of July 19-20. in these matches, Dunedin Technical beat Miramar Rangers, East Coast Bays (Auckland) beat Waitakere City, Glenfield Rovers beat Central United (Auckland), and Nelson Suburbs beat Western Suburbs (Wellington). Surprisingly, only one of the four semi-finalists had ever previously reached that stage (Dunedin Technical, who won the cup in 1999). This also meant that two South Island sides had made the semi-finals for the first time in over a decade. In the semi-finals, held in mid-August, East Coast Bays beat Nelson Suburbs 2-1, and Dunedin Technical beat Glenfield Rovers 3-2.

In the final, held on 13 September, East Coast Bays beat Dunedin Technical 1-0, to take the Chatham Cup for 2008.


The quarter finals of the 2007 Chatham Cup were played in late July. In these matches, Caversham beat Nomads United (Christchurch), Central United (Auckland) defeated Eastern Suburbs (Auckland), North Shore United beat Hamilton Wanderers, and Western Suburbs (Wellington) beat Miramar Rangers. The semi-finals, played in mid-August, saw Central United beat North Shore United 3-1 in Auckland and Western Suburbs beat Caversham by the same margin in Dunedin.

The 2007 Chatham Cup final was played on 2 September 2007 in Auckland. Central United (Auckland) won by 10-9 on penalties after extra time.


The 2006 Chatham Cup final was played on 2 September 2006. It was contested by Eastern Suburbs (Auckland) and Western Suburbs (Wellington). Western Suburbs won 3-0 in a penalty shootout after both teams were scoreless in normal and extra times. In the semi-finals, Eastern Suburbs defeated defending champions Central United of Auckland 5-3 on penalties after scores were level at 3-3 after extra time, and Western Suburbs comprehensively beat Dunedin-based side Caversham 4-0.

Past winners

Cup records

Most cup wins

wins club years notes
7 University - Mount Wellington 1973, 1980, 1982, 1983, 1990, 2001, 2003 first five wins as Mount Wellington
6 North Shore United 1952, 1960, 1963, 1967, 1979, 1986 title shared in 1952
6 Christchurch United 1972, 1974, 1975, 1976, 1989, 1991
5 Eastern Suburbs 1951, 1953, 1965, 1968, 1969
4 Waterside 1938, 1939, 1940, 1947
4 Western 1936, 1945, 1952, 1955 title shared in 1952
4 Napier City Rovers 1985, 1993, 2000, 2002
4 Central United 1997, 1998, 2005, 2007

Most appearances in final

finals wins club most recent appearance notes
12 6 North Shore United 1995
12 7 University - Mount Wellington 2003* first 10 appearances as Mount Wellington
9 6 Christchurch United 1991*
9 4 Western 1966
8 5 Eastern Suburbs 2006
8 2 Northern 1962
7 1 Christchurch Technical 1968 first six appearances (including only win) as Technical Old Boys
6 4 Central United 2007*
NOTE: An asterisk in the "most recent appearance" column indicates that the team won the Chatham Cup in the year indicated

Other records

  • Highest team score (final): 7 - Seatoun (1958) and Christchurch United (1989)
  • Highest team score (any match): 21 - Metro (1991) and Central United (2005)
  • Highest aggregate (final): 8 - on five occasions (1940, 1955, 1958, 1960, and 1989)*
  • Most individual goals in a final: 6 - John Donovan for Seatoun, 1958
  • Most teams entered: 174 (1991)

* Does not include two-legged finals.


  1. Missing trophy mentioned in 1998 final report

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