Gibsport founder Tony Avellano dies aged 70
Anthony Avellano, the well-known editor of Gibsport and a passionate champion of local sportsmen and women, passed away today at the age of 70.
A retired firefighter, Mr Avellano was recognised and respected for his lifetime achievements in sport, not only as a reporter but as an active sportsman himself.
He founded the Volleyball Association and was its president fore 13 years, with some of the first players he coached, aged 11 and 12 at the time, still involved in the sport today.
His love of the sport saw him coach the 1987 Island Games Gibraltar Volleyball team, which won a bronze medal.
He was also to become the first president of the newly established Small Nations Volleyball Association at a time when political interference in sport from Spain was at its height.
Mr Avellano was also involved in the Gibraltar Handball Association and as a keen sportsman also participated in athletics track events and hockey.
He was the founder of the GibSports Middle Schools Athletics Day, which has been running for over 20 years giving local athletes a chance to shine.
Mr Avellano started his working life at a young age at Galliano’s Bank, where he was employed as a clerk before enlisting to do his national service in the Gibraltar Regiment.
Following in his father's footsteps, he was later to join the City Fire Brigade where he developed his enthusiasm for indoor sports.
He was to retire from the City Fire Brigade after 30 years of service, having also seen his sons become firefighters.
As a journalist, Mr Avellano swiftly established a solid reputation as one of Gibraltar's top sports reporters.
He started out with Vox newspaper as a freelance before founding Gibsport, which has been at the forefront of local sports reporting for several decades.
Much loved by Gibraltar's sporting and media community, he was recognised for his lifetime in sports, receiving a Gibraltar Medallion of Distinction and the GBC Lifetime Achievement in Sports award.
A minute’s silence in memory of Mr Avellano will be observed before the start of every match in the National League this weekend.
His funeral will take place today at 10am from St Theresa’s Church.