For George Ellul, Parramatta FC comes before anything and everything.
Ellul, 67, has supported the National Premier League NSW men’s 1 side since he arrived in Australia from Malta as a 17-year-old in 1965.
Then known as the Melita Eagles who had been formed by Maltese immigrants, Ellul fell in love with the club immediately.
He remembers every game like it was yesterday, from the highs of being promoted into the National Soccer League winning the NSL Cup in 1990/91 and 1993/94 to the lows of being demoted.
But one thing stands out and that is the passion he has contained for the club from day one.
“When we came to Australia some people we knew took me to watch Melita as we were called then and from that time there are only few games I have missed,” he said.
“At first when you come to a new country you are not sure what to do but Melita gave me that.
“I remember one year we used to play our home games at Fraser Park and I didn’t have a car or know how to use the trains and I walked from Leichhardt to Sydenham to watch them play.”
His love of football and Parramatta FC has never waned throughout the 50 years he has supported them, admitting he even missed his son’s confirmation to attend a game.
“My dad told me he had his confirmation on a Sunday which was odd as in those days they use to be done on Monday’s,” he said.
“So I took him to the church and when I got there I said to me wife ‘take care of him, I have to go watch Melita play’ and I went,” he said.
Ellul’s heavy involvement with the club began in the late 1970s when he put money towards the building of Melita Stadium.
Eventually he would join the club’s committee in 1982 where he still holds a place and says he will continue to help for as long as he can.
“When we built Melita Stadium many people put money towards it out of their own pockets and we are very proud of that,” he said.
“I have been a committee member every year since 1982, my wife runs the canteen and my son is the team manager.
“We have always been involved and we love the club.”
Ask the man what his best memory of supporting the club is and he cannot pinpoint one day. But ask him who he believes was their best coach and there is only one name to be mentioned.
“I remember every year we were promoted, demoted or won competition,” he said.
“We still hold a record for winning the three premierships and grand finals in three grades (first grade, under-20s and third grade) in 1987.
“But in terms of the best coach I think Raul Blanco really changed the club.
“He obviously went on to coach the Socceroos and he had a very good impact on the club.”
Heritage Round Match Details
Parramatta FC v Blacktown City
3:15pm Sunday 14th June @ Melita Stadium
Tickets available at the gate (Adults $15, Concessions $10)
-By Chris Georges