Sam Vella

When it comes to devotion, contribution and passion for Australian football few can match the affable Sam Vella. His has been almost a life long labour of love, stretching back to the days he first set foot in the country as a 15-year-old migrant from the tiny Mediterranean island of Malta. As a 20-year-old, he helped set up the Maltese community-backed Melita Eagles where he served in many capacities including team manager, club secretary and president. It was Sam’s drive that saw Melita climb from the ranks of park football to the elite of the old national soccer league.His devotion to the club often saw him put his own financial position at risk.

Sam also served on the board of directors of the NSW Soccer Federation and was part of various committees under the direction of the Australian Soccer Federation. Sam was eventually rewarded with life membership of both organisations. In 1995 Sam was awarded an OAM for services to football and the Maltese community. He has continued to be involved in the game even though he has been dogged by ill-health over the last few years.