Vale: Football loses a character known for his passion, wit … and banter

posted in: News, Obituary, Uncategorized

Former football writer, fan and all-round enthusiast for the game Dave Petraska has died in Colombia.

Petraska, well-known for his caustic wit and football banter on social media, had spent four weeks on a hospital respirator after catching the COVID-19 virus.

In his mid-50s, Petraska wrote about football for Auckland publications, including Soccer Express and match programmes, in the 1980s and 1990s.

As well as displaying a passion for football, he was also an accomplished musician.

In recent years, the former Auckland Grammar School student lived in Medellin, Colombia’s second-largest city, staying in touch with New Zealand football friends through social media.

Targets for his banter were usually Manchester United fans and as friend Noel Barkley says: ‘I said to his mum (Abie) he will be looking down on us with a smile and will be hoping for an Italy win in the EURO final.’

Photo: Petraska with his mother, Abie.

Over the past year, Petraska helped Friends of Football to build a digital library of New Zealand football publications, and more of his contributed magazines will continue to be added to the online collection over the next year.

Click here to see the archive >>>>

A song from Dave

Petraska performed at a Smashing Pumpkins tribute show at the Hard Rock Cafe, in Colombia, in 2018. Here he is, promising to play until he’s kicked off the stage …