Sydney Olympic Football Club legend Fotis Papadopoulos passed away last night at the age of 86.
Papadopoulos was known as a fanatical fan of his beloved football club, which was first established as Pan-Hellenic Soccer Club in 1957 by Greek immigrants to Sydney, Australia.
It was only natural that Sydney Olympic was so close to his heart as he was part of the first ever squad for the football club which participated in the NSW State League Division 2.
Former Sydney Olympic Vice-President Graham Athanaseris said that “Fotis knows first-hand the feeling of putting on our jersey,” adding that “he is respected by the whole club because he is a kind man and a gentleman, a fixture of support but also because he is an historic figure for us.”
The Sydney Olympic Football Club is one of the most famous institutions of the Sydney Greek community.
In its long history it has won several titles, including the National Soccer League in 1990 and 2002, the Australian Cup in 1983 and 1985, and the National Soccer League Minor Premiership in 2003.
The football club has also been the home of many Australian international players, particularly Greek-Australians, such as Chris Kalantzis, Peter Raskopoulos, Jim Patikas and many others, but even famously signed Sotirios Kyrgiakos for a two-game contract in 2014.
With the demise of the National Soccer League after the Australian government purged the top tier of Australian football from ethnic clubs, that were particularly dominated by the Greek, Italian and Croatian communities, the A-league emerged with mostly brand new franchise clubs.
This saw Sydney Olympic participate in the New South Wales Premier, the top tier of the state.
Yet, even in this era of football where ethnic clubs are suppressed and many in the community stopped following their historical club, Papadopoulos never stopped following his beloved blue and white.
He will be missed and remembered.