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Appreciation: Robbie Buttigieg

Leonard Zammit of San Gwann writes:
The untimely death of former Sliema Wanderers' captain Robbie Buttigieg came as a shock to many football enthusiasts particularly those who remember him well in his playing days.

Robbie was a versatile and dedicated member of the Wanderers side and his commanding displays were a joy to watch.

He was proud to wear the Sliema colours and more so when he was eventually appointed captain of the side.

Buttigieg, a one-club faithful, was skipper when Sliema Wanderers became the first Maltese team to win a match on the European competitions' scene and three years later when they also became the first Maltese team to qualify for the next phase.

In season 1965/66 Sliema beat Greek side Panathinaikos 1-0 in the European Cup competition at Manoel Island. In 1968/69, at The Empire Stadium in Gzira, the Wanderers beat US Rumelange of Luxembourg 1-0 and later lost the away match 1-2 but, nevertheless, went through to the next phase of the Cup Winners' Cup on the away goals rule.

Robbie's contribution to the national team in 1966 produced two rare victories for Malta. They beat Libya, at home and away, 1-0.

His dedication to the game and pride for his club's colours should serve as an example to all local players especially those at Sliema.

To his dear family go our heartfelt condolences.

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