The York University Football Alumni Association hosted the inaugural Murton-Midea Memorial Tournament on Sept. 21 and raised more than $40,000 for a new scholarship in memory of two former Lions football players, Jesse Murton and Alex Midea.
The two were teammates in 2011 – Murton as a fourth-year receiver and Midea as a rookie offensive lineman. In the following years, they were both diagnosed with leukemia and lost their lives to the disease, on April 24, 2017, and Dec. 5, 2018, respectively.
It was a beautiful fall day at Alumni Field, and more than 100 football alumni, friends and family members came out to play, watch and support the memorial tournament. All funds raised that day will be directed to a brand-new scholarship, the Murton-Midea Memorial Scholarship, that will be awarded to a future or current player that best exemplifies the characteristics of tenacity, determination, leadership and compassion.
More than $21,000 was raised from 40 donors, and with a pledge from York University Athletics & Recreation to match the first $20,000, the fund now stands at close to $42,000.
Murton was a loyal member of the Lions football program for five seasons. He was a hard-working receiver who was dedicated to improving himself on the field, in the gym and in the classroom. He graduated with a degree in kinesiology and health science in 2013 and had moved to British Columbia to work at the Whistler High Performance Training Centre before his death.
Midea spent just one season with the Lions before his cancer diagnosis in 2012. The very first recruit current head coach Warren Craney signed at York, Midea was beloved by his teammates and known for his tremendous work ethic. He was the Lions’ first-ever recipient of the Tom Arnott Yeoman of the Year Award for Hard Work and Character, and he persevered in the classroom despite his illness, graduating with a degree in sociology in 2017.
The legacies of Murton and Midea were honoured at halftime during the team’s homecoming game on Saturday, Sept. 21, with members of both of their families in attendance.