Mark was born on September 30 1978 to Bob and Cath West, he was the youngest of 3 children with his brother Paul and sister Sharon making up a very tight knit family. Mark grew up in Geelong West where he attended Newtown Primary School and then Western Heights Secondary College.
Mark was a very talented footballer who had a highly distinguished junior career. He won several best and fairest awards, represented Geelong in U/15’s, U/16’s and then the Geelong Falcons. He was also the vice-captain of the Victorian U/15 schoolboy side in 1993. Mark’s football career started at the Anakie F.C. where he played in the U/9’s. He then moved to the Geelong Amateurs F.C where his major highlight was playing in a Premiership and also winning the league B & F in the U/13. In 1994 Mark then moved to the Newtown & Chilwell F.C. (NCFC) where he finishing his career in the seniors. Whilst playing in the U/18’s at NCFC Mark also made his senior debut as a 16 year old. He was known for his fast pace and tremendous work ethic, he pushed his body to the limits to make sure he got the best out of himself.
Whilst trying to establish his senior career, Mark also started coaching one of the junior football sides as a 17 year old. Mark recognised that he needed to be more involved in his Club than just playing. He loved kids and believed he had something to offer them so he took up coaching the U/11’s and continued this for nearly 3 years. Junior coaching was a massive passion of Mark’s as he got an enormous amount of pleasure out of seeing kids enjoy and improve themselves. Mark was very strong about instilling the right values in the kids he coached. Things like respect, teamwork, discipline and hard work were always the message he tried to instil in the players.
On ANZAC Day in 1998 whilst playing in the senior team against St Mary’s, Mark passed away as the result of a tragic on field accident. He was 19 years old.