Bay Olympic life member and former president of the Blockhouse Bay football club, Ron Leakey, has died in Auckland, aged 87.
Leakey devoted himself to helping various clubs in many different ways, as a player, coach, administrator and, as a club tribute to him says, “in the game at the coalface”.
In a tribute, the Bay Olympic club said:
“He was a lifelong football devotee. His career spanned all facets of the game, including playing, coaching and administration. He will be sadly missed by all club members and football supporters.
“Our thoughts are with Shelia and the Leakey family at this sad time.”
Bay Olympic’s Tony Andrews provided a summary of Leakey’s achievements when the club recognised him with life membership in 2019. It read:
“As a player, he played at a high amateur level for Southall, in London, before being brought to New Zealand by Gisborne City in 1958.
“He spent nine years there playing alongside the likes of Ken Armstrong and Bert Ormond. He represented Eastern Union against Tom Finney’s touring English side.
“Ron moved to Auckland in 1966 to begin his coaching career initially with Mt Albert. By 1977, he was coaching the Blockhouse Bay reserve team.
“In 1979, he took over from Wally Hughes as the Blockhouse Bay National League coach.
“Ron also had a season coaching the Green Bay-Titirangi (GBT) senior team when that club was in its early years.”
A coach who also used his skills as a tradesman
Over the years, he coached and helped coach many junior and youth team programmes, as well as senior sides.
Leakey combined his coaching with his skills as a tradesman to help Blockhouse Bay and GBTU with many projects. He transported the old Newmarket Park grandstand to Whitney St with the intention of erecting it there, a project that unfortunately was never realised.
Leakey became the president of Blockhouse Bay in 1984.
“What puts Ron in a different category to many other ex-players is that he has remained in the game at the coalface.
“We are thankful for his skills at Bay Olympic with regards to trolleys, scoreboards and until recently could be seen working with the ground crew after games at Olympic Park,” the life membership citation stated.
Ronald Frederick Leakey (February 1, 1935 — November 6, 2022)
The following notice has appeared in the NZ Herald:
LEAKEY, Ronald Frederick (Ron). Born February 01, 1935. Passed away peacefully on November 06, 2022 holding the hand of his beloved wife Sheila and surrounded by his children Barbara, Sheron, David and Andrew. A much-loved grandad and great grandad. His funeral will be held in the Main Chapel of the Morrison Funeral Home, 220 Universal Drive, Henderson. On Saturday 12th November at 10am. In leiu of flowers, donations to NZ Dementia Foundation.
Through the publication of obituaries, Friends of Football tries to recognise the loss of those who have significantly contributed to our game.