MARIO AZZOPARDI

Born in Rabat on December 29, 1940, Mario Azzopardi started his career at the Catholic Action at Valletta, when still between 10 and 12 years old. Later he joined the amateur club Rovers United which is still active today. From there, he moved on to Valletta FC and made his debut in the top division when only 15 years old in a match against Birkirkara. He soon became known for his scoring feats, both with his head and with his feet.

He was also selected to join the national team squad on several occassions and managed to play for Malta around six times, though in those days, the national team was not so active as it is today. He played for Valletta at all levels - in one of his younger years, he turned out for the senior side, the reserves, the under 21 and the minor strings, some times playing two or three times a week.

While with Valletta, he won the league twice, the FA Trophy twice as well, and several other competitions, including the Cassar Cup and Scicluna Cup. In season 1958-59, he finished top scorer of the Maltese First Division with 21 goals to his credits in just 12 matches.

Later in his career, he moved on to Australia, where he played for the club managed by Maltese, Melita Eagles, also gaining recognition by the state of Sydney after being selected to play for the Sydney XI in a match against England's Derby Co. He had to cut short his stay in Australia after breaking his arm in a bad fall. He came back home to play again for Valletta, but after a fall in a match against Tottenham at Gzira, he decided to call it a day.