Former Valletta FC player Josie Urpani passed away Published on: 20-01-2020

Josie Urpani

Josie Urpani, former Valletta FC player, passed away peacefully at the age of 83.
 
Urpani was born in St Julian's on October 12, 1936 and he started his football education with Floriana Colts when he was still very young. When he was still a student at Stella Maris College, he signed amateur forms for Mosta Athletic.
 
In 1953-54, he joined Valletta Minors. Josie made his first team debut for the Citizens on November 28, 1954 against Birkirkara, a game that the 'Lilywhites' won 2-0. During that season he only played seven times for the first team over time he took over the role of shcemer -in-chief of the team.
 
 
In 1957 Valletta reached the FA Trophy Final. This was Josie's first appearance in the final but unfortunately for him and the whole City clan, Valletta were beaten 2-0 by the 'old enemy'.
 
In 1958-59 the Citizens finally won the League Championship. Urpani played in all the matches, scoring eight goals in the bargain. A fine inside-foward, he thrilled the stadium crowds with his intelligent play and his knack of scoring vital goals. In the FA Trophy , he scored two of Valletta's five goals against Marsa in the quarter-finals but then sustained an injury that kept him out of the game for the rest of the season.
 
In 1959-60 Valletta retained the championship. Once again Urpani was one of the mainstays of that fine City team. In 1962-63 Urpani won his third championship medal, capping a fine season with eight goals. The following season he was once again on target. He scored 10 goals to finish in secound place in the top-scorers' chart, one goal fewer than team-mate Wanese Borg.
 
1962-63 was a memorable season for the City stalwart. He led the team to a 1-0 victory over Sliema Wanderers in the FA Trophy final. It was the only time he won the FA Trophy and he celebrated the occasion by scoring the all-important goal.
 
What made Josie Urpani such an outstanding footballer was his superb ball-control and his remarkable quickness of thought. 
 
In 1963-64 he scored 10 league goals for Valletta but by now time was catching up with him. In the following season he only managed four league appearances and although he was still a popular choice, his best days were over. In 1967-68 he wore the City jersey only five times and at the end of the season he retired, leaving a void that took the Citizens many years to fill successfully.
 
Lord grant him eternal rest.