Maltese football on Sunday woke up to the sad news of the death of one of the greatest players and coaches as Lolly Debattista passed away at the age of 91.
Debattista enjoyed a stellar career with his club Floriana FC as he formed part of the legendary side that dominated Maltese football in 1950s and 1960s.
In fact, he was part of the Floriana team that won seven league title, four of which in a row and one with maximum points.
Added to that Debattista also lifted the FA Trophy and the Cassar Cup for nine times as well as the Scicluna Cup, Independence Cup and the Sons of Malta Cup.
Debattista made his debut for the national team in the very first official match of Malta against Austria, played on February 24, 1957, which saw the Austrians prevail 3-2 at the Stadium in Gżira.
The Floriana stalwart was also the first recipient of the MFA Player of the Year award in 1954-55.
Apart from a star-studded playing career, Debattista enjoyed a huge success also as a coach.
After being appointed the coach of the Floriana FC minors team and assistant of the first team he moved to Ħamrun Spartans.
At the Spartans he led the team to promotion and the Premier League title.
He also led Valletta to a league and cup double.
Debattista was also at the helm of Żabbar St Patrick FC and Senglea Athletic.