FORMER State team striker Sergio Alfieri has died at the age of 68. He passed away on December 12 following a long battle with cancer.
A large turn-out of family, friends and former playing colleagues attended his funeral, which was held at St Brigid’s Catholic Church in Northbridge on December 18.
Football Hall of Fame WA Legend Gary Marocchi was among the attendance, as were other Hall of Fame inductees John Birighitti, Peter Murphy and John O’Connell.
“It was so sad. He was a smashing lad,” said O’Connell, who played many times with Alfieri over 40 years ago in the WA State team.
“He was a very talented striker and scored a few goals when wearing the WA jersey. He was very well respected by his fellow players and by fans.
“He played most of his State league club football with Bayswater and, when he retired from that level of the game, gave much back when turning out for The Entertainers in the Masters League.
“Those were great days for The Entertainers were real purists of the game. They hated the concept of the long ball and always tried to put on a show. Serge was instrumental in that.”
Alfieri was a member of the WA side that took part in Malaysia’s Merdeka Cup international tournament in Kuala Lumpur in 1969.
WA had reached the semi-finals of the tournament in 1968 and were strongly fancied to go all the way the following year. But the competition was fierce and they ended up playing off for fifth place against the much-fancied South Korean national team, who won 3-2.
Alfieri scored one of the goals in a tight contest.
He also scored a few weeks later when the State team moved on to Penang to take part in the Kings Cup event. He played in all four games and was on the score sheet against Indonesia.
He turned out eight times for the State team and proudly took his place with his former team-mates when the Committee of the Hall of Fame staged an anniversary celebration of WA’s participation in the Merdeka Cup in 2007.
All players in attendance signed a State team jersey that night – and Sergio won a hotly-contested bidding war when the jersey was later auctioned off.
The prized memento was later displayed in a frame with photographs off the four State teams that had taken part in the Merdeka Cup event between 1967 and 1970.
PIC ONE: Sergio Alfieri at the Merdeka Cup celebration in 2007. PIC TWO: Sergio (centre) proudly displays the State team jersey with Hall of Fame Committee members John O’Connell (left) and Bob Brown.