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PROTRACK » GENERAL » Former VFA champion & VAL athlete, Derek King dies at age 65

Former VFA champion & VAL athlete, Derek King dies at age 65

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Former VFA champion Derek King dies at age 65

APRIL 29, 2014 1:55PM

DEREK King, a star of the VFA in its halcyon period in the 1970s, has died at age 65.

Playing for Oakleigh, King won the JJ Liston Trophy as best and fairest in First Division in 1975 and the Field Medal, the Division 2 equivalent, in 1977.

He was also runner-up in the Liston in 1976 and third in 1970, ‘71 and ’80. King also represented the VFA and was Ardath player of the year and an All Star selection in 1977, the association’s centenary season.

His VFA career finished at Caulfield, where he won a best and fairest and was third in another.

Coaching stints followed at suburban clubs South Yarra, St Kilda City, Oakleigh District, Noble Park and Ashburton.

A fearless and tenacious rover, King played 11 games for St Kilda from 1967-69 before crossing to Swan Districts the WAFL.

VFA historian Marc Fiddian said King was a “particularly good rover’’ who rarely played a bad game.

“He was very consistent. He didn’t just play a good game once every three or four weeks. He was a worthy player every week,’’ Fiddian said.

Pace was another strength; he was quick enough to make a Stawell Gift final and win Moomba and Maryborough gifts.

The Vermont South resident died yesterday after a battle with cancer. It began when he had part of his tongue removed two years ago. But it returned this year, in bowel and liver.

His son, Clinton, inherited his ability, playing senior football at Sydney, Collingwood and Richmond.

Derek King’s wife, Maria, Clinton and daughter, Sacha, survive him.

While he didn't make a Stawell Gift final, Derek King did run 2nd in the Bill Howard 100 yards in 1971. Derek was also 2nd to Peter Boase in the Arthur Postle 70m in 1977.


Thank you Youngy for posting this article.
My Uncle Dekka was was a wonderful footballer, athlete and an inspiration to me.
He was a fierce competitor and showed courage right until the end.
I will miss him dearly.


Thanks Skeetsie,

It was terrific of the Herald Sun to post the news of Derek's passing on its website.

I was a keen follower of the VFA in the 1970's and remember Derek clearly as a tenacious player with a bit of speed of the mark. As the article suggests Derek was a very consistent player, rarely out of the best player lists. As one of the few VFA players in his day who ran regularly with the VAL, no doubt his superior fitness carried him well throughout his career.

I saw him regularly at the athletic carnivals, but never had the pleasure of meeting him.

Glad he's been remembered as the inspirational person he was.

"Let's Go While We're Young"

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