Evans: Fiji lost a great hero

Freddy Evans (front), Pita Dau, left, Etonia Delai and Lorima Batirerega in 2016. Picture: SUPPLIED

Freddy Evans (front), Pita Dau, left, Etonia Delai and Lorima Batirerega in 2016. Picture: SUPPLIED

FORMER national soccer Freddy Evans yesterday paid tribute to his former captain, Pita Dau.

The former dual international died in Lautoka on Friday.

Evans said Fiji had lost a great football captain and a tough player.

He said the fallen hero created history for Fiji soccer after captaining the national side to win the Melanesian Cup in 1988 and later led Fiji to win 21 of their 23 games.

“I played with Pita (Dau) in 1987, 1988, 1989 in the Fiji team,” said Evans.

“In 1988 he was our captain for the Melanesian Cup in Solomon …. that was the year we made history for soccer in Fiji – we played 23 games home and abroad winning 21 games, drew one and lost one.

“I played with him in the Lautoka team 1989-1991 and he was a very aggressive and tough player in the midfield but very humble outside the field.

“He always played his heart out until the last second and to all who knew him he wasn’t just a player but a brother and an encourager.

“These kind of words that will strengthen you … we will miss you, RIP captain.”

Evans said he last met Dau during the 2016 reunion in Fiji and was saddened by the untimely death of his former captain.