Tributes have poured in for Sunshine Coast Rugby League Hall of Famer Lex Burchill. Photo: Patrick Woods
Tributes have poured in for Sunshine Coast Rugby League Hall of Famer Lex Burchill. Photo: Patrick Woods

Tributes pour in for passionate Coast league man

One of the first men inducted into the Sunshine Coast Rugby League Hall of Fame and the person who designed the original Falcons logo has been mourned.

Lex Burchill succumbed to a three-year battle with bowel cancer on Tuesday, October 6. He was aged 81.

Tributes have poured in from the Coast's rugby league community and his family - the two greatest loves of his life.

He has been remembered fondly as a "family man, a thorough gentleman and well-respected man" who volunteered his time for nearly a generation.

Mr Burchill is survived by his adoring wife Pauline and three children, Tony, Mary and Ani and six grandchildren.

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Pauline Burchill kept old newspaper cutouts that shows Lex’s amazing involvement. Photo: Patrick Woods
Pauline Burchill kept old newspaper cutouts that shows Lex’s amazing involvement. Photo: Patrick Woods

He was farewelled on Wednesday in what Mrs Burchill said was a fitting ceremony.

"He was a great man," Mrs Burchill said.

"All the tributes at his funeral said that.

"He was a family man first, and a joker."

Since the Burchills moved to the region in 1977, Lex wasted no time linking with the local league as a referee and later administrative man until 2005.

All the while, Mrs Burchill kept scrap bookings of Sunshine Coast Daily and other media articles of his involvement.

"He was involved in all of it, from treasurer, to coach, to referee, vice president, he was just interested in what was happening," Mrs Burchill said.

"He was so passionate about the Falcons.

"He really pushed hard for the club to be called the Falcons, not Sea Eagles, the Peregian falcon is local to here."

Wife Pauline of Sunshine Coast Rugby League Hall of Fame Lex Burchill paid tribute to him. Photo: Patrick Woods
Wife Pauline of Sunshine Coast Rugby League Hall of Fame Lex Burchill paid tribute to him. Photo: Patrick Woods

Mr Burchill was an art teacher by trade and his design skills were employed to form the Falcons original logo. Mrs Burchill still has his first drawings of it.

Former SCRL president Danny McGuire said Mr Burchill had been a driving force in a committee who helped resurrect the club.

"He was so passionate about footy and he really got stuck in when we came into the Queensland Cup," Mr McGuire said.

"We were in a lot of debt, he and Peter Boyce fought really hard to get them back on track.

"He was just a stalwart and a good man."

The original Sunshine Coast Falcons logo designed by Lex Burchill. Photo: Patrick Woods
The original Sunshine Coast Falcons logo designed by Lex Burchill. Photo: Patrick Woods

Mr McGuire said Mr Burchill had a creative flair and would design the Falcons' playing strips and polo shirts, famously known as the Bumble Bees.

"The players will all remember those polos fondly," he said.

"The black and gold stripes looked like bees.

"He was very much into design."

Fellow Hall of Famer Rhondda Poor said Mr Burchill was a thorough gentleman.

"He did things that were ahead of the time, he was very progressive," Mrs Poor said.

"And always for the league. He'd always put the league first.

"To be involved for so long, and do so much, it's sad."

Well-known local league stalwart and former Falcons coach Des Allen said Burchill was a man who did everything for the right reasons and for the love of the game.

"He was a bloody good fella, a really well-respected man, it's a sad loss for Sunshine Coast league," Mr Allen said.

"I remember him refereeing me. I quiet liked when he was the ref.

"I was a hooker and I was a bit cheeky to him and we had some laughs out in the middle.

"He was a very good referee and then in the administration side of things he was great at that too."



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