Aucklander Fabian Ukich, a leader with ‘that special touch that brings people together’, has died after a long battle with cancer.
Ukich (44) was a past president of the Croatian Cultural Society of New Zealand and was instrumental in helping Auckland City FC and Central United over many years.
In a moving tribute, Auckland City chair Ivan Vuksich has acknowledged the contribution made by Ukich.
“Fabian was one of those special people you meet who you can’t help but like immediately,” Vuksich said.
“He had that special touch that brings people together and puts smiles on their faces.
“He provided some real glue at the Croatian Club when they faced some challenging times.
“Through his personality, passion for people and love of his culture he was responsible for introducing so many new young people to the club, especially through initiatives like the Robert Vicelich Memorial seven-a-side football tournament, which has now grown into a fantastic annual event.”
Friends of Football extend their condolences to the Ukich family, including partner Sophie, children Stipe and Nikolina, his parents Joe and Angelika, and his siblings Nevenka and Joseph.
Son Stipe is a promising youth team footballer with Auckland City after coming through the junior ranks at Central United.
Počivao u Miru (Rest in Peace)
Fabian Joseph Ukich (17 November 1977 — 7 February 2022)
Death notice from the NZ Herald:
UKICH, Fabian Joseph. Passed away on Monday 7 February 2022 surrounded by his loving family and friends. Dearly loved husband to Sophie, adored Dada to Stipe and Nikolina. Loved son to Joe and Andelka. Loved brother and brother-in-law to Anthony and Nevenka, and Joseph and Paula. Proud Ujac to Katija, Ante and Ivana. Taken too soon from us. Pocivao U Miru bozjem. A Mass will be held at the Holy Cross Catholic Church, 2 Lavelle Road Henderson, on Friday 11 February at 10.00 am followed by interment. Vaccination certificates are required to attend the Mass.
Through the publication of obituaries, Friends of Football tries to recognise the loss of those who have significantly contributed to our game.