This weekend marks a milestone for the PS4 National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s 1, with a Heritage Round rolled out for the first time in the competition’s history.
Former Sydney Olympic player Fotis Papadopoulos is no stranger to inaugural events. The 81-yearold was part of the first ever Olympic (formerly Pan-Hellenic SC) squad, competing in the NSW State League Division 2 back in 1957.
The following year they’d be promoted to Division 1 and the club’s success from that point onwards is well documented.
Papodopoulos, who is now a long-time club member of Sydney Olympic, has fond memories of playing in that era and cites the first game, against St George Budapest, as what sparked the love he has for the club.
Local radio host Dimitris Theofanis speaks highly of Papadopoulos and what he sees as an unequalled passion for the club.
"He is maybe the most loyal Sydney Olympic fan.
"Mr. Papadopoulos is at the game every week, he has been at games every week for the last 60 years as a player and as a supporter.
"This is loyalty and passion, we are very grateful for people like Fotis".
It’s this kind of support that epitomises what National Premier Leagues clubs like Sydney Olympic mean to their local communities.
For the clubs themselves, they’re equally as full of admiration for those long-serving fans as the fans are for their club.
Sydney Olympic Vice-President Graham Athanaseris expressed his admiration for Papadopoulos, pointing to his dedication for the team as both an example and reminder for all.
"Fotis knows first-hand the feeling of putting on our jersey," Mr. Athanaseris said.
"He is respected by the whole club because he is a kind man and a gentleman, a fixture of support but also because he is an historic figure for us."
President Chris Tsioulos echoed Athanaseris’ comments.
"Fotis loves the game, loves our club and is representative of a stoic generation of footballers and supporters who have experienced the lows and highs of our game in this country of ours.
“On behalf of the club, thank you Foti”.
Heritage Round Match Details
Bonnyrigg White Eagles vs Sydney Olympic
7:30pm Saturday 13th June @ Bonnyrigg Sports Centre
Tickets available at the game (Adults $15, Concessions $10)