alt text


October 19th, 1928
Brunswick Melbourne Australia

VIHA Northern Suburbs, VIHA Blackhawks

Goodall Cups
1947, 1952, 1953, 1955

1960 Ice Hockey

World Championships

Life Memberships

Most club goals, most goals in a period, most goals in a game, and most points in a game in the first half-century of the VIHA. Top Point Scorer of the 1960 Australian Olympic Ice Hockey Team.

BORN OCTOBER 19TH, 1928 in Brunswick, Melbourne, Australia, to parents Mitchell Doig Cunningham and Ann Marsh Coates. Forward. Brother, Lawrence, born 1923, was also a hockey player. Cunningham, like Russ Jones, was among the young brigade who took up the game in the 1940s when competitive hockey had been suspended due to war. He first learnt under the guidance of John Tuckerman at the Sunday practices run by Melbourne Glaciarium in 1944-5. Tuckerman was a student of the game and he and his proteges practically lived ice hockey in those days.

Ice Hockey Guide [540] reported general skating sessions in those years were used for ice hockey training. Players weaved, turned and twisted on crowded rinks, using first this edge, then that edge; hours of skating backwards, plus game theory. Cunningham soon possessed the automatic reflexes that mark the difference between a player and a champion, and they were largely attributed to the grounding he received under Tuckerman in those early years.

He first played for Northern Suburbs in 1946 and was selected to play for Victoria in his first season at the age of eighteen. The following year he crossed to the Glaciarium to become a founding player for the Blackhawks. He joined Tuckerman, its driving force, and Frosty Winter on a forward line that came to be regarded as the best ever. A decade later he and Noel Derrick were the only foundation players still playing at the club. Their line with Keith Jose was also "the crack attacking division" of its time. [540]

Cunningham was a tough, aggressive competitor and heart-warming team man who was known as "the best Australian born player we have had". [540] Sports commentator Ron Casey selected Russ Jones and Cunningham as the babes of his 1948 All-Australian Team. Casey described them as "brilliant skaters, real opportunists, and Cunningham is perhaps the more versatile of the two". [411] All the more remarkable because both had played only two seasons of competitive hockey.

Never omitted from a Victorian squad for which he was available, Dave Cunningham won four Goodall Cups and scored the most club goals in the first half-century of the VIHA. In that time, he also scored the most goals in a period, most goals in a game, and most points in a game. Top Point Scorer of the 1960 Australian Olympic Ice Hockey Team. Life Member IHA, 2000. The Dave Cunningham Trophy was awarded annually to the Top Point Scorer in the IHV Premier A League from 2008 until 2013 when it reverted to the Hugh Spot Lloyd Perpetual Trophy.

01. Historical Notes

02. Citation Details

Ross Carpenter, 'Cunningham, David (1928 - )', Legends of Australian Ice, Melbourne, Australia,, accessed online .

03. Select Bibliography

[540] Ice Hockey Guide, 15 Jun 1956, p 11.

04. Citations
Citations | 1 - 280 | 281-on |
G A L L E R YArrows at right scroll the images
alt text
Dave Cunningham with Chook Tuckerman, Frosty Miller, Noel Derrick.

The very first VIHA Blackhawks, 1947 VIHA Premiers.

alt text
Captain of the VIHA Blackhawks, 1956 VIHA Premiers.

Dave Cunningham, Keith Jose and Noel Derrick were the crack attack unit of the time.

alt text
Australian Olympic Ice Hockey Team

Squaw Valley, California, 1960