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Ex-Malta captain Schembri passes away

Led national team in historic 1957 international

Salvinu Schembri (centre) with his son Eric and grandson Andre.

Salvinu Schembri (centre) with his son Eric and grandson Andre.

Salvinu Schembri, considered as the most complete footballer Malta has ever produced, passed away last night, aged 85.

The former Malta captain, who played club football for Sliema Wanderers, Valletta and Ħamrun Spartans, was admitted at the Mater Dei Hospital a few days ago with respiratory problems.

As a polished playmaker, Schembri won all honours the local game could offer, including three league titles with the Wanderers, with whom he started his career way back in 1943, and twice for Valletta. He was forced to quit the game in 1961 due to a knee injury.

Schembri's best moment, perhaps, was when he skippered the national team in the country's first international match in 1957.

Malta hosted Austria at the old Gżira stadium and the visitors were leading 3-0 at half-time when Schembri rallied his team-mates to a strong comeback, only falling short after pulling two goals back.

Schembri's achievements were recognised by the Maltese Olympic Committee in 2004 when he was inducted in the Hall of Fame.

His son, Eric, is a former Gżira United and Sliema Wanderers player and his grandson, Andre, is a Malta international forward currently playing for Carl Zeiss Jena in the German Division Three.

The funeral will be held tomorrow but arrangements will be announced today.

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