Vale David Lea
David John Lea. 04/07/1935 – 17/01/2021
It is with great sadness that we share the news that MUSC Life Member, David Lea, passed away peacefully on Sunday 17 January.
David was born in England and arrived in Melbourne in 1948. He attended Melbourne High School and went on to attain numerous qualifications from the University of Melbourne: a Bachelor of Arts (1957), a DipEd (1958), a Bachelor of Education (1966) and a Master of Education (1990).
David played for the Club from 1953 to 1959, serving as Club Captain from 1956. David played his 100th game for the Club in 1958, becoming one of the first players ever to reach that milestone. David represented the University in Intervarsity competitions in the 1950s and received half blues in 1954 and 1955 and a full blue in 1957 for soccer. In 1957, David was selected in the Australian Universities Soccer Team. David’s playing days came to an end when he suffered a horrific broken leg.
David was Club Secretary and Victorian Amateur Soccer Football Association Club delegate for several years in the 1950s, overseeing the formation of the club’s second reserve team. David was heavily involved with student recruitment from other clubs, a process that would often involve lengthy negotiations to obtain clearance.
Away from football, David had a career as an educator. He taught in technical schools and went on to be Vice Principal and Principal at technical schools and TAFE colleges. After teaching, David turned his attention to politics and served as the member for Sandringham in the Parliament of Victoria from 1985 until he retired in 1992. In the 2000s, David made numerous trips to China as an English teacher. David was a poet of some quality, with two published volumes of poetry.
David was an unwavering supporter of the Club for 68 years and kept a strong connection to the University. David would always be one of the first to RSVP his attendance at the annual blues dinner and thoroughly enjoyed attending Club functions to hear about the on-field exploits of the latest cohort of MUSC players. David was a popular guest, speaker and award presenter at Club functions, with younger members finding David’s memories of his playing days at the Club thoroughly engaging. In recent years, David made a significant contribution to MUSC by detailing the early history of the Club. Without David providing this history, it would never have been known.
For his contributions as a player, committee member, and supporter, David was awarded Life Membership of Melbourne University Soccer Club in 2020. David’s family shared that soccer was one of David’s many great loves and for him to be bestowed the honour of a life membership made him so happy. The Club will hold a ceremony in David’s honour to celebrate his achievements and contributions to the Club in the lead up to the start of the 2021 season. David’s family will be invited to attend.
A thanksgiving service for the life of David Lea will be held at St. Paul’s Anglican Cathedral, Bendigo, on Friday 22nd January at 2pm. If you would like to view the service live, please go to: www.williamfarmer.com.au/tribute-centre
Our thoughts are with David’s family.