In this months Lynx FC page, we pay tribute to Antonio Avellano (1949 – 2020), the clubs first President and a tour-de-force to sport in Gibraltar.
When we speak of Antonio Avellano, known to his friends as Tony, we describe a sportsman, coach, journalist publisher, loving husband and father. Tony’s life revolved around sports and his contribution over the years was significant in developing Gibraltar’s sports into what they are today. He was a delightful character to be around and held a fountain of knowledge of the sports we know today.
On the sporting scene, he was unquestionably a true legend. Tony founded the Volleyball Association in 1975 acting as its coach and president for over 13 years. In the 1987 Island Games he coached the Gibraltar Volleyball team to win a bronze medal. Tony was involved in the Gibraltar Handball Association and a keen participant in in athletics track events and hockey. He also founded the GibSports Middle Schools Athletics Day, over 20 years ago.
After writing for Vox and Echo Sports, Tony founded his magazine Gibsport in 1991, when he decided to step away from an active role in sports. The monthly publication Gibsport was widely acclaimed by the community, in which he reported on sporting events around the Rock for decades. Tony once stated, “Gibsport is my baby, as it allows me to keep in touch and help promote sport in general within Gibraltar. It gives me a great feeling to be giving back to the community.”
In 2007, Albert Parody had the pleasure of announcing Tony as Lynx FC’s inaugural President. This position is now held by Mr Jack Noble, Director of Ramboll and ex-Royal Engineer, who has been the club’s President since 2017. Both Tony and Jack have provided a great service to the club and we couldn’t be prouder to hold their names up high as our Presidents.
Their experience and the love for sports catapulted Lynx FC into a new level, from strong foundations built within the youth academy, to the planning, organising, and carrying out of responsibilities within the club. The ability of social influence to maximise the efforts of the team and inspire all is a skill both Tony had and Jack has in abundance.
Tony was later recognised for his contribution to Sports on the Rock receiving the lifetime achievement award at the GBC Sports Awards in 2018. He was instrumental in helping make Gibraltar a member of both the European and world governing bodies in Volleyball.
Tony was truly a gentleman and a great friend, and will be sadly missed – We Live Forever.