Fijian 'Flash' Ivor Evans was a part of the Whitecaps' Legends and Stars charity game at the BC Place Stadium yesterday, Evans had an illustrious 11 year professional career with the Vancouver Whitecaps' organization. Photo WC.

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Examplary Dau: Chaudhary

Local Sports

Dual rep, Pita Dau with Naresh Kumar: FBDual rep, Pita Dau with Naresh Kumar: FBHE was strong and dubbed as an intimidating footballer yet he was very humble and a down to earth person.

 

That was Pita Dau, the former Lautoka and Fijian team midfielder, who passed away in Lautoka, Fiji on Thursday.

 

Pita's former teammate, Ronald Chaudhary remembers him as a player with lot of strength, vision and leadership.

Chaudhary said he is saddened with the passing away of a footballing giant whose contributions to both football and rugby were in the leaps and bounds.

The two were members of the 1988 team that created history by winning the inaugural Melanesian Cup at Lawson Tama Stadium with a 3-1 win over hosts Solomon Islands.

"Pita was the captain of the team. We fared both the home-team and the hostile crowed", recalls Chaudhary.

"Very dominating and fierce on the field but cool and down to earth off the field.

"His leadership and pure work ethics is what made him a standout and players around him had a great deal of respect”.

Chaudhary said Fiji will never see a footballer of Pita’s caliber again.

"A midfielder unique and exemplary. Rest in peace brother-man”.

Former Lautoka rep, Rakesh Kumar who was with Pita on Tuesday attending the funeral of Salesh Kumar 'Pepo', one of Lautoka sporting circles biggest fan, was terribly hurt with the news of the passing away of Lautoka's sporting legend.

"It is just Tuesday, he (Pita) picked us up for Pepo's Church service and the funeral", said a distraught Kumar.

"We rode together, had a round of grog (Kava), talked about Pepo's life and said goodbye and today (Thursday) I get the news that he passed away".

Kumar said the footballing icon never appeared in ill health added it was God’s calling of the best.

Dozens of former Fijian footballers expressed their sadness on Facebook moments after Pita's death was announced.

Poasa Tubuna, Epeli Ragavatu Kosa, Adam Ali, Naveen Kumar, Philip Wye (New Zealand), Gabriel Tuilawa, Kelemedi Vosuqa, Shamsu Dean, Vishwa Nair, Upendran Choy (Australia) and Bakalevu Mocemereki, Naresh Kumar (Fiji) and Freddy Evans (Seattle, USA) have sent their condolences to the family.

Lautoka's finest, Brisbane, Australia based Kelemedi Vosuqa Cheetah said, "I still cannot believe that you are gone Pita. Why so soon my brother.

"Isa otioti in gauna daru a sota kina na reunion in 2017.My deepest condolences to the family. May your beautiful soul rest in peace taciqu".

"This morning (yesterday) we sadly lost a brother, friend, teammate, confidante, legend and colleague as our creator called him home to his heavenly kingdom.

"Pita was a well-known personality to many proud former Lautoka residents now residing overseas mainly through his exploits in the sports arena as a dual soccer and rugby international not to mention at home as well", former Lautoka rep, Philip Wye said.

Freddy Evans who played for Lautoka alongside Pita, said he played with one of the best midfielder who was very aggressive on the ground but yet humble off the field.

"Those who knew Pita would agree that you were a friendly and had a great sense of humor. You're sorely missed".

"Isa my brother I will miss you a lot, can't believe that you are gone. Very shocking, all the bad and good times we were together. My condolence to the family. RIP my brother", Upendran Choy said.

Lorima Batirerega said it was a privilege to play alongside Pita who was such a great player.

"I'm so sorry and saddened by the passing away of my former teammate, for me to have the privilege to play alongside him, he was such a great player, a leader and a motivator who always led by example on the field, but outside of soccer he was always humble, kind and compassionate. May your soul rest in peace. Moce my brother".

England based James Hoyte said, "What a sad loss to a very great guy and great talent for the country and friends. God bless and rest in peace brother".

Reaction came from those outside of football, too, including Lautoka and Fiji 7s star, Viliame Satala, said it was a sad day for rugby as it is for football.

 

"Pita was an amazing athlete and a great person. Lautoka lost a true son. Rest in peace brother".

Fijian football and rugby fans from Fiji and around the globe have sent in their condolences to Pita Dau’s family.

 

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