New Zealand Nadi Legends and Nadi Legends in a group picture after the inaugural Joe Lutumailagi Cup game in Nadi yesterday. NZ Nadi won 2-1.

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Tribute pour in for Micheal

Local Sports

Micheal Joseph second from left with friends:Kris Chetty picMicheal Joseph second from left with friends:Kris Chetty picFORMER  footballers, administrators and fans have joined in the outpouring of tributes for the late Suva and Fiji footballer Michael Joseph.

The two-time, 1956,1960 Inter District winner, died on Sunday at the age of 85.

Fiji national teammate and star of the era, Zikar Ali lauded Micheal’s style, guile and leadership during his illustrious career.

“Michael was a complete footballer, talented, strong and an athlete who players found joy playing with," said the former Ba, Nadi and national footballer.

“I’m saddened at the news of his passing.”

Ali and Micheal were teammates during the 1961 tour to Australia, and again teamed up for the 1963 South Pacific Games and against Germany's Karlshrue Club.

“Very silky and smart footballer.

“Sadu, (brother in law), we called each other, I’m heartbroken at the news of his death. May his soul rest in peace.”

The Perth, Australia based, Krishna Chetty who played alongside Michael for Suva between 1966-1971, said the midfielder rose the Colts ranks to premier football through hard work and desire, something that saw him earn a starting lineup in Suva and national team.

Chetty said Michael’s trademark among fancy footwork and leadership was his corner kicks, which he would bend right into the goal.

“He scored many goals through corner kicks, not many had that ball, eye and goal coordination."

Former Nadi and national team captain Jubbar Pokar played against Michael, who was a much senior footballer in the country.

“I was just starting my career with Nadi and Michael was nearing his retirement but he was an amazing player at his age.

“Players like Michael don’t come any better. Football lost a star.

“Our thoughts are with his family and everyone who loved and admired him," said Pokar.

Michael’s playing career spanned more than 16 years, (1956-1972) ending with his relocation to Vancouver, Canada in 1972.

He broke into Saint Columbus FC,  in 1953 and Suva B in 1955.

Micheal was introduced to premier football in 1956 and he didn’t look back as he took his game to the next level, in 1961 he was among Fiji’s cream of footballing crop to tour to Australia.

He was in the company of stars like Augustine Thoman, Satish Dutta, Chandar Bhan Singh, Zikar Ali, Hakim Dean, Meera Sami and others. The team was coached by Sashi Mahendra Singh.

In 1963, he played against Germany's Karlshrue Club, in 1965, captained Suva against Wellington Juniors and Fiji Southern Team against Dallas Tornadoes.

Former Fiji Football Association of Vancouver president Sikandar Khan took to social media to pay tribute to Michael.

“Michael was a fantastic and charismatic soccer player, a rare breed.

“A creative and masterful act on the field and a distinguished character personifying humility and humbleness."

Michael was recognized for his unerring contribution to football during the Fiji Times Canada’s 2010 Sports Awards Gala Night.



+6 #1 TributeJay 2023-06-29 05:16
As interesting the read is, strange there hadn’t been much written or heard about the player, well only if FFA had records in place right. Rest high champion
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