Istvan Luczo (2 June 1934–26 April 2012)
Istvan (Steve) Luczo of Corio Soccer Club was one of the most familiar but most self-effacing persons associated with soccer in Geelong. He came to Australia as part of the Hungarian migration in 1971 and has been involved with soccer since his arrival in this country. The old Hungarian clubs in Toldi and Indesco were succeeded by Northern Suburbs, which for a long time played at Corio Community Reserve off Hendy Street. Anyone who visited the club will remember that Steve’s was the first face you saw, as he marked the pitch, put up the nets, organised the players and officials and made sure the game continued to happen. Then he would be found helping to make the most delicious goulashes and soups.
He helped Northern Suburbs develop from a club in the Western Victoria Soccer Association, where Steve was an office-bearer for a number of years, into a power in the Victorian Amateur League, where it reached Division One in 1985. Momentum slackened for a while and Suburbs dropped back into the WVSA in 1989, but then in 1994 Northern Suburbs amalgamated with Corio and joined the Victorian State League under the name Corio-Northern Suburbs. Now as Corio the club is still flourishing in Division One of the Provisional League.
In local soccer Corio broke the North Geelong monopoly of the Geelong Advertiser Cup in 1998 with a famous victory in the final on penalty kicks and I will never forget the delight on Steve’s face when his club won the trophy, though he made sure all the credit went to the players and the coach. Since then Corio has reached the final twice and only those inside the club know how much is due to his leadership. I’d just like to add a personal note. It is no coincidence that when Geelong City, the combined team for local youngsters, reached the National Youth League in 1989, it played its first game at Hendy Street with the assistance and support of Northern Suburbs and Steve Luczo.
Steve Luczo was a fine representative of the game in Geelong and was a thoroughly deserving recipient of the Geelong Soccer Personality for 2002, sponsored by the Geelong Advertiser. He continued to put his heart and soul into the club and in 2010 was rewarded when Corio once again won the pre-season cup competition, now the Geelong Community Shield. It was typical of the man that he stayed in the background as the players and officials celebrated the triumph. But it would never have happened without his unceasing work for the club. His title might have been president, but he was the essence of Corio Soccer Club.
He is survived by his wife Etel, sons Zoltan and Steve, daughter Sophie and grandchildren and great-grandchildren.
His funeral is tomorrow (Friday) at 1 pm at Holy Family Catholic Church, Separation Street, Bell Park.
The photograph appeared in the Geelong Advertiser, Thursday 24 January 2002, p.. 55.