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 Fi...rst 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.
Funeral arrangements are being made.