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So long, Simon

December 31
12:00 2009

Written By : General Editor. The death of Simon ‘Maradona’ Peters is a huge loss to the soccer fraternity and the people of Vanua Levu.
The former national soccer star died of a heart attack on Tuesday night just after returning from peacekeeping duties in Iraq.
Mr Peters broke into the limelight in 1985 when he represented the Fiji Under-20 side which was coached by the late Billy Singh.
He made his mark during World Cup Under- 20 qualifying rounds in Sydney, Australia and became a household name in Fiji.
The highlights of his career were in 1988 when he scored a goal in Labasa’s 3-1 win over Tahiti. It was the first ever win of any Fiji team against the Tahitians.
Again in 1989, when Mr Peters partnered Ravuama Madigi upfront, Fiji upset the Australian Socceroos 1-0 during the World Cup qualifying rounds at Prince Charles Park in Nadi.
This was after Fiji defeated the New Zealand All Whites in the elimination rounds.
But the most memorable time was in 1992 when he spearheaded Labasa’s campaign to hoist the Lloyd Farebrother Inter District Championship Trophy for the first time. This came at Ratu Cakobau Park in Nausori.
His speed, fancy footwork and ability to score goals many times baffled the opposition defence and he earned the nickname ‘Maradona’ from the Solomon Islands fans. That was in 1988 when Fiji won the first Melanesian Cup tournament in Honiara.
Mr Peters last made his mark in 2002 when he partnered star Solomon Islands striker Batram Suri when they helped Nadi win the IDC at Govind Park in Ba.
He scored the winning goal in the semifinal clash against Nasinu and again in the final against Rewa.
Mr Peters sudden demise is doubly sad. He still had a lot to offer for the country.
Surely it’s going to take a long time to find a suitable replacement to don that famous No.10 jersey that he usually wore.
As we bid farewell to our very own Maradona, our condolences also go to his wife and children.
So long, Mr Peters. A true star of Fiji soccer

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