Croatia Sports Club is mourning the loss of one of our long-time members, Mr. Mate Krstičević who was born on May 25, 1951 in Pozla Gora, Croatia and passed away on April 2, 2021 in Burnaby, BC.
Mate came to Canada in 1973. He was a carpenter by trade, which he studied and apprenticed in Metković, Croatia. Mate emigrated from his beloved homeland of Croatia to Austria before settling in Canada, which he called home for the rest of his life.
For nearly 50 years, Mate had been involved with Croatia SC Vancouver. First as a player for Croatia A, then he started coaching – first with our youth, then the U21 team, and then he coached Croatia A on two separate occasions. As the “old timer” leagues were established, Mate also played for our O40 and O50 teams.
A very quiet and private person by nature, but he was so passionate about soccer and our club. He was a stickler for detail, but hard work and passion were his trademarks – both as a player and coach. “Leading by example” was a mantra that best described Mate. For those old enough to remember the epic battles between Croatia and Columbus at Nat Bailey Stadium, people will surely recall the game within the game where Mate would always get the better of then Columbus star Sergio Zanatta. It was so cool to watch him play as a fullback during those games as he made our entire community proud.
Thank you Mate for the decades of service to Croatia SC. We send our deepest condolences to Mate’s wife Matija, his son and two daughters, as well as many family and friends who will miss him deeply. Mate will be laid to rest in his homeland, Croatia.
Počivaj u miru Božjem i nek ti bude lagana gruda Hrvatske zemlje.