Friday, 16 March 2012

Vale Ian Marshall (12 February 1949-13 March 2012)

With thanks to Roy Hay for providing the news and obituary.

Ian Marshall died on 13 March 2012 in Christchurch, New Zealand after a long battle with cancer. Ian was a key member of the South Melbourne Hellas midfield in the 1970s, playing alongside Jimmy Armstrong, Peter Bourne, John Bedford and Steve Walker. He helped South Melbourne to the State League championship in 1972 and 1974. He was selected in an Australian squad but did not take the field in an international match. From Hellas he joined Juventus and then went to New Zealand, from where his wife, Christine, hailed.

Ian Marshall was born in Ross-shire in Scotland and started his senior career with the local club Ross County in Dingwall. He was spotted by Tommy Docherty when he was managing Chelsea and the ebullient Scottish manager intended to take the young man to London. However a serious leg injury kept Marshall out of the game for some time. By the time he was back on the top line, Dockerty had left Chelsea so the big move never came about, and Ian Marshall played for some time with Rotherham under Docherty. In 1970, however, he made an even bigger move, when he was recruited by South Melbourne. Marshall and Peter Bourne hit it off in the midfield and Laurie Schwab in 1972 wrote, they ‘look and play as if they were brothers’ knocking off league leader George Cross at Middle Park in front of 11,000 fans and rarely allowing their opponents John Gardiner and Kevin Walker a sniff of the ball. South won that game four-nil. The arrival of Jimmy Mackay from Sydney in 1975 probably limited Marshall’s opportunities and he moved on. At Juventus he played with Jim Armstrong, Jack Reilly and Pat Della Rocca. In New Zealand he continued to play and coach and was involved with the national team, the All Whites. He was an inaugural inductee in the South Melbourne Hall of Fame.

He is survived by his wife Christine, son Callum and twin daughters Alana and Vanessa.

I am indebted to Robert Levene and Jim Armstrong for assistance with this tribute.

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