CLASS of 2007
Inducted January 12, 2007
Traveling from his birthplace in the London borough of Dagenham to Tulsa provided David Plumb with a fascinating journey. Evacuated to Swindon during the bombing of London in World War II, David joined the Swindon Town Football Club in 1950 at the age of 16. At the age of 18, he went to National Service and served, during combat, in Cyprus and Egypt with the Royal Electrical Mechanical Engineers. Upon returning home from his service, David completed his education and acquired a degree in electrical engineering.
With degree in hand, David emigrated to the United States in 1956 and BOAC (British Airways) was his first employer. Arriving in Chicago, he transferred his love for soccer to his American mates and was soon playing, coaching, and officiating matches in the area.
In 1963, David married Plava Dell’Arsina and they would raise three children: son – Mark; daughters – Debbie and Tricia. By 1967 the North American Soccer League was formed and David was heavily involved in the Chicago soccer scene with good friend Bill Foulkes (who would become the Tulsa Roughnecks coach). For the next seven years, Chicago was home to the Plumb family but in 1974, Tulsa’s Frank Weatley, Inc. offered David a job and he moved the family to Oklahoma.
Within a few years, the talented Plumb had determined to create his own company, API Industries. The oil business was strong in Tulsa, and David created patents in the area of separation of oil and water. But the oil business would not be David’s only passion.
In 1975, David became one of the first of four USSF referees in the state and he was appointed as the State Referee Administrator in 1976, a position he held for two years. His officiating credentials were known state wide as he helped develop referees for the youth program in Green Country, a college program through the National Intercollegiate Soccer Officials Association, as well as the adults in NEOSA. He continued to officiate matches at all levels until 1982.
With the soccer community in Tulsa growing quickly, David used his contacts with the Chicago Sting of the NASL to play a group of Oklahoma All-Stars in 1976. Two matches were played, one in Tulsa and one in Oklahoma City; David refereed both games. Beginning in 1977, David began coaching youth soccer with an under 12 team. He remained in the youth coaching ranks until 1982 while coaching the Tulsa International Soccer Club adults for many years.
After the Tampa Bay Rowdies played the Dallas Tornado in October of 1977, soccer grew quickly in Oklahoma and it wasn’t long before Tulsa acquired the Roughnecks. David was the Game Day Operations Stadium Coordinator for the Roughnecks beginning with their first matches.
Oral Roberts University began offering men’s soccer and in 1980, David became their head coach. By now, those U12 boys had reached U16 and David had them prepared. In 1981 they recorded their third straight state championship and David still proudly displays that trophy in his office. One of David’s players was Dean Hennessey, son of Roughneck head coach, Terry Hennessey.
Acknowledged by coaches, players, and officials as one of the leaders in the development of Oklahoma Soccer Association, David’s contributions to the sport cover all aspects of the game and are still prevalent today in the many venues of soccer across Oklahoma.