Davor Antunovic, a driving force behind the formation and successful growth of Central United, has died, aged 81.
He was the club president for two spells (in 1966, and 1975-82), made a life member in 1981 and was a former club patron.
United’s current president, Mate Tolj paid tribute through Central’s social media channels:
“Davor was one of Central’s original founding members way back in 1962,” he said.
“The success the club has enjoyed over the past six decades is testament to the vision, determination, hard work and passion of our earliest members and Davor was very much at the forefront of that.
“He has made an outstanding contribution to the club over the last sixty years including serving nine of those as president.”
“Davor’s contribution was recognised in 1981 when he was made a Life Member of Central United.”
“We will always fondly remember both Davor and his family’s loyal support, commitment and generosity towards the club. He will be greatly missed.”
“Our deepest condolences are extended to Sonja, Leon & Fiona, Dario, Tamara & Joe and their families at this time.”
Ivan Vuksich, the chairman of Central United’s sister club, Auckland City, told City’s website:
“Davor and his family were the major sponsors of Central United’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2012 and his commitment, support and generosity towards the club over the past sixty years will always be remembered and appreciated at Kiwitea Street.
“He was an esteemed member of our club and as a sign of respect for his passing our players wore black armbands during (Friday’s) Oceania Champions League match against Hienghene Sport of New Caledonia.”
“On behalf of everyone at Auckland City FC our deepest sympathies are extended to Sonja, Leon & Fiona, Dario, Tamara & Joe and their families.”
Pocivao u miru Bozjem.
Main photo: Davor and Sonja Antunovic. Source: Central United FC.
The following notice appeared in the NZ Herald:
ANTUNOVIC, Davor. Passed away peacefully 3rd August 2022 in his 82nd year. Dearly loved and respected husband, father, father in law and grandfather to Sonja, Leon, Fiona, Emily, Daisy, Dario, Danny, Tamara, Joe, Nina, Vanya and James. Our hearts are broken. You have left a hole in us that will never be filled. You were our mentor our hero our rock and our everything. We will miss you dearly and we love you so much. May you Rest in Peace. A private funeral will be held and our family requests privacy at this time.
Through the publication of obituaries, Friends of Football tries to recognise the loss of those who have significantly contributed to our game.