Football Australia is deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Hall of Famer, Donato 'Don' Di Fabrizio OAM.
Di Fabrizio was born in 1933 and migrated to Australia from Italy in 1954, becoming involved with the Morwell Falcons in the 1960s.
After his son Steven joined the U10's team at the club, Di Fabrizio was elected president in 1969 and served in that position for 23 years, guiding the club from being a small country club to the Victorian Provincial League, then on to a Metropolitan Division to State League, to the top-tier National Soccer League.
After the bid to enter the NSL was accepted, one of the tasks undertaken by Di Fabrizio was the construction of a grandstand at the club's home ground to accomodate 2000+ spectators. Once completed, the new grandstand was deservedly named after the club President.
In 1995, Di Fabrizio was appointed a Commissioner for the Australian Soccer Federation (ASF) and was involved with the development of the sport at all national levels as well as marketing, television rights and the restructure of the National Soccer League.
Don also contributed to the integration of women’s football under Soccer Australia, uniting the two national refereeing bodies, and was inaugural Chairman of the National Honours Awards program in 1997.
Don holds multiple life memberships, received a knighthood from the Italian Republic in 1995, and was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia in 1996 for service to the steel construction industry and to football.
In 2008 he was inducted into the Football Australia Hall of Fame for his outstanding service to the game.
Football Australia sends its condolences to the Di Fabrizio family and those closest to Don. Vale.
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