South Melbourne FC is saddened at the news that Georgios Samaras has passed away at the age of 91.
Mr Samaras was a prominent member of the Victorian Greek Community in the 1950s and 1960s. Following the merger of Yarra Park, South Melbourne United and Hellenic, he contributed in establishing the newly-formed South Melbourne Hellas in becoming a powerhouse of Victorian football in the 1960s.
Mr Samaras’ son Ioannis (John) Samaras played for OFI Crete, Panathinaikos and the Greek national side throughout the 1980s and 1990s. Ioannis fulfilled a childhood dream when he returned to Melbourne to play one match for South Melbourne FC as a guest player on 6 June 1988. On that day, he scored a goal as South Melbourne defeated Sydney Olympic 2-1 at Middle Park.
Ioannis’ son Georgios (named after his grandfather) is a current Greek international player and plays his club football for West Bromwich Albion in the English Premier League. On 24 June this year, he scored a penalty in the 93rd minute to beat the Ivory Coast 2-1 and send Greece through to the Round of 16 for the first time in the country’s history.
South Melbourne FC sends its condolences to the Samaras family in this very difficult time.