Mr. Ernest Denis Hoben, who died in Melbourne on Sunday, February 2 (his 54th birthday), was a journalist wellknown in New Zealand, where he was born, and also in New South Wales, where he was employed on newspaper work for over ten years. He will be mostly remembered in the sporting world as the founder of the New Zealand Rugby Union, from which emanated the famous " All-Black " footballers, but he himself was an all-round athlete, being in his youth a captain of football and boxing clubs at Tauranga, New Zealand, where he spent his youth, and he was also noted as a swimmer and as a, walker. .Mr Hoben wae born in Auckland on Feb. 3, 1864, and after a few years in New South Wales, lived successively in Tauranga and Napier, It was at Tauranga that he formed a friendship with the famous Warbrick family of footballers, and others such as Wi Duncan, the noted Te Aute half-back, and this interest in the native race create 4 so long ago continued with him till hie death. He was an ardent lover of th* Maoris, and one of his last letters received a few days before his death wge from Wi Duncan. After being in Napier for some time, Mr. Hoben joined the literary staff of the "Evening Post" in Wellington, but it was whilet he was ins, Napier, as secretary of the Hawke'a ' Bay Rugby Union, that he took the initial steps towards the foundation of the New Zealand Rugby Union, which was formed only in the face of great opposition, especially from the South Island- The constituion of the New Zealand Union was drawn up and submitted to conference in 1892, and Mr. Hoben was its first secretary, holding that position until he resigned to take up journalistic work in Sydney. As early as 1895 the New Zealand Union controlled 50,000 players throughout the colony, and since the days when Mr. Hoben founded the institution, Maori footballers under its aegis have made football history over all the English-speaking world. New Zeaj land teams have several times visitedJ New South Wales and Queensland, th* j "All-Blacks" had a meteoric career in Great Britain and Ireland, winning every match except the one 'against Wales, and New Zealand teams have also planted the standard of the Rugby flag in California. Of late years Mr. Hoben as suffered from ill-health. In his time however he was a man of volcanic energy, a gifted and also a versatile writer,'he was of generous instincts, and lived to the axiom of "Never to be weary of well-doing."
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FOOTBALL., Auckland Star, Volume XLIX, Issue 41, 16 February 1918
FOOTBALL. Auckland Star, Volume XLIX, Issue 41, 16 February 1918
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