The Malta Independent 12 December 2018, Wednesday

Veteran sports journalist Henry Calleja passes away

Friday, 7 December 2018, 13:16 Last update: about 4 days ago

Veteran sports journalist Henry Calleja passed away earlier today, aged 77.

Calleja, who was President of the Sportswriters Association from 1987 to 2003, had a 50-year career as a sports broadcaster with Xandir Malta which later became the Public Broadcasting Services.

He started his career way back in 1964, covering football matches starting with the lower divisions and on to the First Division, now known as the Premier League.

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Until recently, Calleja was still covering matches for PBS in connection with the First Division of the Malta Football Association.

Calleja also represented Xandir Malta and the Public Broadcasting Services at several international competitions abroad including Olympics, Commonwealth Games and Mediterranean Games, apart from having been selected to broadcast several international football and waterpolo matches involving the national teams.

He was former sports editor of Il-Hajja newspaper and also sports editor at The Malta Independent between 1992-1997.

He was also known for his objective criticism - he always called white what was white and black what was black - without insulting anyone. He did it only for the good of sport which he had close to his heart.

A teacher by profession, Calleja ended his career as a headmaster. For a time he was also secretary of the San Giljan waterpolo club.

During his term as president of the sportwriters association, Calleja represented the association at several international congresses of the International Sports Press Association (AIPS).

Henry Calleja leaves to mourn him his wife Catherine, his sons Stephen Calleja, who is the Online Editor of The Malta Independent, and Nikolai, together with their families.

The board of directors of Standard Publications together with The Malta Independent management, newsroom and staff would like to express their condolences to the Calleja family. 

Reactions

In a press statment The Nationalist Party has thanked Calleja for his work and dedication in sports and expressed condolences to his family.

The Sports Journalists Association paid tribute to its past president, saying that last year it had appointed him as honorary president.

The Malta Football Association expressed its condolences, saying Calleja made a sterling contribution to local sports, especially football, through his work in the local sports media during a career spanning several decades. His passing is a loss for the Maltese sports community, the MFA said.

 

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