Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vale Ken Dexter and Ted Buckingham

Ken Dexter, a former leading Tasmanian referee in the late 1950s and early 1960s, and who remained involved in soccer as a junior coach and media personality until the early 1980s, passed away in Hobart this week aged 87.

An Englishman, Dexter hosted a soccer program on ABC Radio in the early 1980s. He also commentated on TV for the ABC, which televised games live from South Hobart in the early to mid-1960s.

His refereeing career ended abruptly on 11 August 1962 during an Olympia versus Rangers game at South Hobart.

Dexter was refereeing the game and sent off an Olympia player just before half-time, whereupon the player assaulted him.

Dexter was escorted from the field by his linesmen and some Olympia players and he abandoned the match.

Badly shaken by the incident, he never refereed at senior level again and the game was the poorer for it.

A physical education teacher at Hutchins at the time, Dexter was very fit and was an excellent referee.

The player who assaulted him was arrested by police at the ground and charged. He later appeared in court and was convicted of assault and fined 7 pounds ten shillings ($15) and ordered to pay 10 shillings ($1) in court costs.

The Tasmanian Soccer Federation suspended the player for life.

In 1964, Dexter, together with his fellow Englishman, Ken Aldridge, a giant goalkeeper and centre-forward for several Hobart clubs, jointly coached the Southern Tasmanian Under-15s, of which I was a member, on a tour of New South Wales. Philip and Eric Owen, Klaas Laning, the late Hugh MacKinnon, Bobby Biggar and Oscar Heinrich were also members of that squad.

The reason I mention this is that I broke my leg in our second match of the tour and Ken Dexter was of enormous help subsequently. He arranged for me to be flown home from Sydney on a stretcher after several days in hospital and ensured that everything ran smoothly.

An ambulance collected me from Hobart airport, but the leg had not been properly set and had to be re-broken and re-set at the Royal Hobart Hospital by the late brilliant orthopaedic surgeon, Sir Douglas Parker.

Ken reminded me of the incident many times during subsequent years whenever he attended local games.

He continued coaching junior teams and performing his radio work until he retired and I shall always remember him fondly.

He is survived by his wife, Christina Isabella, sons David and Andrew, and daughter Sallie.


The death has also occurred in England of Ted Buckingham, who played as a centre-forward for Juventus and South Hobart in the early 1970s.

Buckingham, who was 68, later became one of Tasmania’s best and most successful horse trainers and returned to the UK only five years ago.


Anonymous said...

Condolences Walter to the related families.

Do you have any further information, photos about or from the game, or what was played of it? I presume it was Glasgow Rangers?

Walter said...

Sorry to disappoint you, but it was Hobart Rangers, who merged with Caledonians in 1969, and not Glasgow Rangers. They did wear the same strip of light blue shirts, white shorts and black socks with a red top. I have no photos of the game, I'm afraid.

Rodney Tattam said...

Actually Ted Buckingham played mostly for Croatia. I was in the Croatian club in late 1971 when he just turned up from WA looking for a club. He stayed for 3 or 4 years and formed a good partnership with Milan Lakoseljac. I think he scored 2 goals in a Lloyd Triestino Cup Final (do you remember them). He was a good man.