It is with great sadness that we learned this week of the passing of our friend and long-time CJSC player Tony Biasi. These days not many within our Club would remember Tony B. or his exploits on the football pitch but in days gone by Tony was a stalwart of both our junior and senior Club.
Right through the late 1960’s, 70’s, 80’s and early 90’s Tony wore the Black and White of CJSC and earned the honour of becoming the Club’s first “twenty-year player”. And that was twenty continuous years of playing on Edwards Park! From an inexperienced young junior player Tony rose to become a very successful senior first grade player and before retirement became one of the foundation members of the Club’s original Over/35 team. He eventually hung up his boots in the mid-1990’s.
Tony started playing at Concord as a young teenager in the late 1960’s in a team coached by Club life member Alan Beauchamp. Alan continued as Tony’s coach for the next 15 years and the two maintained a staunch friendship throughout. He had as his teammates the likes of Ross Mutton and Bob Marriott and others with whom he shared his teenage years and many successful seasons of football. Twenty five years later Tony, Ross and Bob would again wear the Black and White together in Concord’s Over/35 team.
Back in the early days Tony would just wander across the road from his Empire Avenue home to Edwards Park for training and games. Through his love of the game and the mateship he developed within his team and across the wider Club environs he developed into a speedy, formidable defender and a multi-Premiership winning player at both Amateur League and State League level.
Tony was always bright, cheery and good-natured. Those attributes made him a popular teammate for all around him and rubbed off on other players to build a “band of brothers” mentality on the field and off. That mentality made for an fearsome team spirit that was very hard to beat. Tony was always ready for a laugh or a joke and enjoyed the camaraderie of a large, harmonious squad of players. These teammates were his regular comrades in the weekly battles that played-out on the pitch and, all, would attest to Tony’s steely competitiveness, his fierce will to win and his fervent loyalty to the team around him.
Memories of grand final victories, end of season bus trips to Mallacoota, late night card games and nights on the town spring to mind whenever old teammates meet and Tony’s image is irretrievably linked to all those activities.
From 1973 to 1993 Tony was involved in the senior playing levels of the Club and was an integral playing member for much of this time. It was an era of considerable success for these teams that saw Concord JSC climb from raw amateur competition to semi-professional State League 3 over a period of about 15 years. Tony joined the sub-committee that ran these senior teams and came to the fore, once again, when he organised a long-standing sponsorship for the Club’s State League Teams through MMI Insurance group. This valuable financial backing provided much needed support for the Club’s senior teams and Tony did his absolute best to maintain this substantial sponsorship over a number of years.
Tony was granted Life Membership of Concord JSC in 1991.
Our Club was blessed to have had such a player, member and supporter. For those of us who played beside him and shared the joys of victories and the disappointments of defeats he will be sorely missed in our remembrances but will continue to live long with us in our memories.
To Tony’s lovely wife Rosetta and his sons may we offer our deepest sympathy.
Fond memories! Rest in Peace.