Maltese football has paid tribute to one of its legends following the death of former national team goalkeeper and coach Victor Scerri.
He was 91.
Scerri, who began his football career in 1946 with Melita, played in goal during Malta’s first-ever official international match.
Malta lost the friendly against Austria at the Empire Stadium in 1957 but he made two other appearances for the national team.
At club level, Scerri spent more than 12 years with Sliema Wanderers as goalkeeper until his playing career was cut short in 1963 when he suffered a serious injury.
He then went on to make a name for himself as a coach.
He led Sliema Wanderers to a number of league titles, and also had coaching spells with Gzira United and Msida St Joseph.
Scerri was appointed national coach for the first time in 1973 and returned for a second spell in 1978, staying in the post until 1983.
He was in charge of the Malta team that held West Germany to a goalless draw in a European Championship qualifier, played at the Empire Stadium in 1979.
He also presided over Malta’s 2-1 victory over Iceland in 1982.
Malta Football Association President Bjorn Vassallo was quick to pay tribute.
He said: ‘Victor Scerri will forever be remembered as a legend of Maltese football, a man for all seasons as he served the game as player, coach and administrator in a career spanning several decades.
‘Victor also holds the distinction of being part of the Malta team that played Austria in our country’s first official international match at the Empire Stadium on February 24, 1957.
‘His lifelong contribution to football is an inspiration to us and all those who have Maltese football at heart.
‘My thoughts are with Victor Scerri’s family and friends at this sad time.’
Mr Scerri’s funeral will take place on Tuesday 6 August at the Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish Church, Balluta Bay, at 8.30am.