A rugby match between two local clubs this weekend comes with a special shield for the winning team.
When players from the Toko and Streltham rugby clubs battle it out on the field at Victoria Park on Saturday, they will be fighting to win the new Mike Hartley Memorial Shield.
The shield honours the memory of Michael Hartley, a keen rugby player who died last year.
Michael played rugby for the Stratford (now Streltham) and Toko rugby clubs for more than 30 years, says his wife Fay.
"The match is being held in his memory, he passed away last year. Our son Kevin suggested the shield and Neville Hurley from the Toko Rugby Club thought it was a great idea. The shield was kindly donated by Steve McEwen. A photo of Michael is being put on the shield. This will be the first game ever played for the shield."
Michael's love for rugby went back many years, as did his love for his wife Fay. The couple had known each other since they were at primary school, says Fay.
"I knew him from my last year of primary school at Stratford Primary. He then came to my 21st birthday party. I moved to Wellington after that and he asked me to come to his party. I went and then he started writing me letters. He told me he wanted me to move back to Stratford and I said 'if you want me you'll have to come and get me' and so he did. We were engaged four months later. We were married in 1968."
She says rugby has always been a big part of their family life.
"He loved the game. He would get off the field and then go watch our grandson Jack play as well. He played a match for Toko with two of our sons, Ross and Tony, in 2002 while Kevin was the referee."
Michael represented Taranaki at all the grade levels while at Tawhiti and Stratford Primary schools and Hāwera High School. He played for the Midhirst Rugby Club from 1963 to 1967, then moved to the Stratford Rugby Club in 1968.
"In 1980 he joined the Toko Club and played for both teams for a while. Both of the clubs are great outfits. They all look after each other."
Fay says he took a year off from rugby in 1992.
"He still coached a Stratford rugby team during his off year. After that he played for Toko until 2002."
Michael retired from rugby at 56, but returned to the field more than a decade later.
"When he was 68 he played a full game at the Stratford Rugby Club Old Timers Day."
Fay says the memorial shield is an honour their family appreciate.
"Both Stratford and Toko clubs thought it was a great idea. It's a great way to remember him, he absolutely loved the sport."
What: Mike Hartley Memorial Shield game
When: May 8, starting at 1pm
Where: Victoria Park, Stratford