Johnny Privitera

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Johnny Privitera (27 January 1940 - 19 July 2008) was a football player.

Johnny Privitera, better known as Il-Ġemel, was born in Sliema. His passion for football started when he attended the Sliema Primary School where he formed part of his school’s team that, for three consecutive years, managed to win the Malta Primary School Football Championships.

He joined Sliema Wanderers making his first-team debut when he was only 17. For the Wanderers, Privitera played 10 games during the 1959-1960 season after which he swapped teams and moved on to play for Paola’s Hibernians FC. In season 1960-61, he helped Hibernians to win the league championship and, a year later, the FA Trophy. On the international scene, Privitera led his team to impressive displays against Manchester United, Spartak Trnava and Real Madrid in European competitions. For Hibernians, between 1959 and 1974, Privitera featured in 178 fixtures.

Besides winning full international honours for Malta during 1962 and 1971, Johnny captained the Maltese national team against Austria. His last game for the national team was the famous game against England at the Gżira Stadium in 1971 which England won 0-1.

Privitera was renowned for his modern style of play based on the innovative coaching tactics of Herrera. Due to his short vision, Johnny worn special plastic glasses when playing and eventually started using contact lenses.

In season 1968-69, Privitera was voted Malta’s footballer of the year.

After his retirement, Johnny did not abandon the game and became involved in coaching at the Marsa Educational Sports Centre. He also coached various teams competing in the minor divisions. He spent his last years before he passed away providing coaching service to the Nursery of his beloved Hibernians.

Johnny Privitera was married to Catherine Bonnici.

He died at the age of 68.