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Former Rabat and Valletta footballer passes away

Pawlu Vassallo

The death was announced on Friday of Pawlu Vassallo, a former Rabat and Valletta footballer of the post-Second World War era.

Vassallo was born in Imtarfa on September 16, 1923. He started playing the game in the wide open spaces of his locality and made his Second Division debut for Rabat on December 23, 1944 when the Magpies beat Marsa Youngsters 2-1.

That season, Vassallo played six matches and scored two goals as right wing but Rabat failed to win promotion.

Vassallo was considered among the best emerging talent at the time and it was no surprise when in 1945-46 he joined Valletta.

He played his first match for the Whites on February 2, 1945 in a 3-2 victory over St George’s. Vassallo’s career at the capital, howevers started with a hiccup when he was suspended by the MFA for presenting a double registration and he did not play any more that season.

With Valletta, Vassallo won the championship in 1945-46 and 1947-48.

He is also noted in the record books as being the player who scored the 2000th league goal since the start of the competition in 1910 in the match against St George’s on March 7, 1948.

Vassallo stayed with the club up to the end of the 1954-55 season. Then, he returned to Rabat FC for £300 which was a princely sum in those days.

Rabat were in the top division at the time and Vassallo made his first showing for the Magpies on October 2, 1955 in a 3-1 upset to Sliema Wanderers.

In the next four seasons, Vassallo played 24 league games for Rabat and scored two goals. Then, in 1958-59 the Magpies were relegated and that practically spelt the end of his career.

Vassallo played only one game in the Second Division in 1959-60 and when Rabat lost 2-1 to Tarxien Rainbows, on October 11, 1959, he decided to hang up his boots.

Source – Times of Malta