Casting rivalries aside, the NSW Powerchair Football community gathered on Saturday at Kevin Betts Stadium, Mt Druitt to remember Sydney FC Captain Dean Crane who passed away unexpectedly due to illness.
Crane was the Sky Blues inaugural captain and first choice goalkeeper and the impact he had on the Powerchair Football community was evident as every team gathered for a ceremony and signed Crane’s number five jersey which was fittingly retired in his memory.
National coach for the World Cup USA 2016, Coach of the Central Coast Mariners PFC and Executive committee member, Peter Turnbull, reflected fondly on the impact Dean had on Powerchair Football in New South Wales.
“Aged only 22, Dean had already played for New South Wales in hockey and rugby league, but after playing football five years ago, this became his main game culminating in his captaincy for his much loved Sky Blues,” said Peter Turnbull.
“The team won the treble - League, Cup and State in 2013 with Dean being almost impossible to beat in goals.
“Indeed this season Dean is leading the tally again for most clean sheets and it is expected he will win that award again with just three rounds to go.
“He was a natural leader who teammates looked to both on and off the field, earning respect with his easy manner and genuineness. One of his joys was having his younger brother Jordan play alongside him for Sydney FC.
“Dean will be sorely missed and condolences to the team, and especially his mum and dad Kellie and Colin who have been such sterling parents to provide Dean with every opportunity and support in everything he chose to do, and his brothers Jordan and Bryce.”
The Sky Blues and Newcastle Jets are enjoying a tight tussle for first place after 12 games, with the Jets on 27 points just edging Sydney FC on 24 points with only three rounds left to play in the regular season. Follow @sydney_pfc on Twitter for match results.
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