Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Vale Antonis Karagiannis, Henri Van Groningen

Sad to hear of two deaths of former South players, one recent, and one from a few months back.


Antonis Karagiannis article taken from the official site.

The entire South Melbourne FC family would like to extend its deepest condolences and wishes to the Karagiannis family on the passing of former South Melbourne FC player Antonis Karagiannis, who sadly passed away last Sunday.

Karagiannis was a foundation player for South Melbourne FC and represented the club for two seasons from 1960-61. In 1960, he played an integral role in the club's promotion from Metropolitan Division 1 North (now State League 1) into the Victorian State League (now the VPL). In 1961, Karagiannis scored 15 goals for South in the Victorian State League and finished as the club's leading goal scorer for that season. In recognition of his efforts in the club's early years of existence, Karagiannis was inducted into the SMFC Hall of Fame at the 50th Year Anniversary Gala Ball at the Crown Palladium last year.

South Melbourne FC President Leo Athanasakis, speaking to smfc.com.au, remarked that "it is sad to see the passing of one of the individuals who were part of the Club in its formative years. We would like to extend our best wishes and condolences to the Karagiannis family."

As a mark of respect at Mr Karagiannis' passing, South Melbourne FC players will wear black armbands for Saturday's match against Oakleigh. In addition, a minute's silence will be held prior to the match commencing.




Little is known of Henri Van Groningen - whose sole reference in online Australian soccer archives is in a game for South Melbourne Hellas against Moonee Ponds in our inaugural 1960 season (he was listed erroneously as Van Gronignon). Initially it was thought by club historian John Kyrou to be an error, as there was no other supporting evidence for his existence - but a recent email by his son Anthony, who is living in the United States, has helped clarify matters. Van Groningen, born in the Netherlands, was a goalkeeper, and apparently also played at South Melbourne United prior to playing at South. He passed away on January 1st 2010, at the age of 74. Our sincerest condolences to both families.

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