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Charles Valentine Print E-mail
Tuesday, 29 July 2008 20:24


With great sadness, Soccer NSW announces the passing of Charles James Valentine, a New South Wales soccer legend and sporting visionary.

Born in Brooklyn, New York, on 3 October 1915, Charlie Valentine has passed away peacefully, aged 88, in Sydney.

His contribution and legacy to the sport of soccer are almost beyond measure, such are his gigantic achievements.

Valentine Sports Park, the sporting and administrative headquarters of Soccer NSW, stands as a monument to Charlie’s vision, tenacity and brilliant financial management.

On behalf of the Board, Management & Members of Soccer NSW, the President, Mr Tom A. Doumanis, has expressed his deep condolences to the Valentine family.

“We may never see the likes of Charlie Valentine again,” said Mr Doumanis. “He was a giant of our game, who left his mark like no other.

“By his work, Charlie has provided world-class facilities and secured the prosperity of Soccer NSW for generations to come. He will be sadly missed.”

The flags at Valentine Sports Park are flying at half-mast as the soccer family mourns the passing of Charles James Valentine.



The NSW Soccer Federation will be forever indebted to Charles Valentine for his vision and financial acumen during his 16 years service as NSW Soccer Federation Treasurer.

During his term in office Charles kept a tight control of the Federation’s finances and built up the funds mainly through the gate money received by matches played in NSW by Manchester United, Everton, Liverpool and Celtic.

He convinced the Directors to invest the funds in land for a Headquarters for Soccer.

He arranged the purchase of land at Parklea that was owned by his family at below market value and then bought surrounding land as it became available until a total of 26 acres was owned.

With assistance from Norbrik and the NSW Engineers Association, Field Days were arranged by Charles to develop the soccer fields and a dam at no cost to the Federation.

Charles successfully applied for grants from the NSW Department of Sport and Recreation with which he built a close co-operation with the Minister Michael Cleary and the Department. With their financial assistance he planned and supervised the building of the administration block in 1981.

A few years later in 1985 NSW Premier Neville Wran gave a grant of one million dollars to enable the accommodation block to be built thus the headquarters was complete.

Throughout his years on the Board, Charles travelled back and forward to Parklea from his home at Castle Cove sometimes twice a day, he carried all sorts of drinks, food and materials covering hundreds of thousands of kilometres and wearing out two utilities.

The support throughout all these years by his wife Joan has been an integral part of Charles’ work, whether cooking for a hundred kids or manning a canteen, Joan has always been at his side to support him.


* Born 3 October 1915 at Brooklyn - New York, USA.
* Played goalkeeper for James Adam High School Soccer Team.
* Called up into the Army in 1942.
* Posted to Melbourne Australia in 1943 as Sergeant in the Military Police.
* Transferred to Sydney in 1943 and placed in charge of the Non Commission Officers Club at 332 Pitt Street, Sydney.
* Met his wife Joan at the Trocadero Ballroom at the end of 1943.
* At the end of the war Charles took his discharge from the army in Sydney. He took over the lease of the Non Commission Officers Club and opened Valentines Restaurant featuring Chicken in a Basket.
* In 1946/47 he arranged for his brothers to come to Australia to join him in the restaurant and the running of a chicken farm at Toongabbie. The farm had been necessary to ensure supply of quality chickens for the restaurant.
* Bought a farm at Parklea in 1953 and raised chickens.
* Through many of his waiters being of Greek origin Charles became involved with Pan Hellenic and assisted by running functions to raise money for the club. He became a Director of the club for a short period.
* In 1969 he retired from the restaurant and leased out the chicken sheds at Parklea and made a soccer field on part of the farm. He joined the NSW Coaches Federation Committee and arranged coaching clinics at weekends and school holidays.
* Assisted his local club Artarmon by running the canteen at home games with his wife Joan.
* In 1970 joined Manly Warringah Club as Treasurer with Joan again running the canteen.
* With assistance from a few friends Charles converted two duck sheds on the Parklea into a dormitory in one and a kitchen and dining room in the other. This greatly expanded the coaching clinics at Parklea.
* In 1972 Charles was elected to the Board of Directors of the NSW Soccer Federation and became the Treasurer.
* Charles convinced the NSW Board of the need for a headquarters and arranged the purchase of the Parklea property from his family. By judicious buying as adjacent land became available Charles increased the Federations landholding to 26 acres.

* With the assistance of Norbrik, Charles arranged for the NSW Engineers Association to hold their Field Days at Parklea and to use their machine demonstrations to build the playing fields and the dam on the Federation property.
* In 1980 Charles planned and supervised the building of the administration block completing the project in December 1981.
* In 1985, with the assistance of John Constantine Charles secured a grant from the NSW Dept of Sport and Recreation of one million dollars to build an accommodation block. The cheque was presented by NSW Premier Neville Wran and the Sports Minister Michael Cleary. The building was completed in September 1986.
* Charles retired from the Board at the AGM in December 1988 and was made a Life Member.

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