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Former Malta striker Muscat dies

Charlie Muscat

Charlie Muscat

Charlie Muscat, the former Malta striker who started his career with Birżebbuġa St Peter’s FC, passed away yesterday, the day of his 48th birthday.

Muscat made his debut for the modest club from the south way back in 1979 in a Division Three match against Attard. He decided to seek a new challenge in 1981 and went on to join Żurrieq in the Premier League.

Il-Baħri proved an instant hit at his new club with whom he made his debut on October 31, 1981 in a 4-1 victory over Ħamrun Spartans.

Muscat, renowned for his all-out effort and loyalty to his team-mates, was a prolific scorer and led the Reds to the FA Trophy final for the first time in 1984.

Żurrieq lost to Ħamrun but that same year Muscat finished as the league’s joint top scorer with seven goals before being crowned as the country’s best player of the season by the Malta FA.

Muscat made his international debut on May 23, 1984 in a World Cup qualifying match against Sweden.

He played five times for the country and scored two goals.

In 1984-85, Muscat enjoyed another excellent season, helping Żurrieq to win the FA Trophy.

Unfortunately, a serious injury forced him to miss that final and he had to stay out of the game for several months.

Muscat did well to score five goals in his comeback bid two years later but season 1987-88 was his last with Żurrieq as a recurrence of the injury forced him to retire from top-flight football.

He continued his career at St Patrick in the lower divisions before a two-year stint with Birżebbuġa (1991-93) and again at St Patrick (1993-94) who gained promotion to the Premier League at the end of the season.

At that stage, Muscat had reached veteran status but continued to play with Birżebbuġa up to 1999 when he decided to retire.

The funeral will be held tomorrow at the Birżebbuġa parish church, at 8.30 a.m.

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