Stuart Young credits David Cervinski with providing the hard-nosed winning mentality which took the Wollongong Wolves to two National Soccer League championships.
English striker Young had moved through the Arsenal and Hull City squads, before playing in Singapore in 1998 when he met Cervinski.
From there, Cervinski, who had scored in the 1995-96 grand final win for Melbourne Knights, was on the move to the Wolves and helped bring Young out to Australia to join him.
The rest is as legendary as the flowing pony tail Cervinski wore on the field, winning the 1999-00 grand final, the famous comeback from 3-nil down against Perth, and 2000-01 decider against South Melbourne. After a battle with an aggressive melanoma, Cervinski passed away at the age of 48.
"He's been everything for me, he's the reason my family and I are in Australia," Young said.
"Dave was a tough guy on the field, but he could not have done any more for me when I came out, I owe him so much.
"And he played such a big role in winning those titles, he was the one who had done it before and he led the way for us, without a fuss."
He played 100 games in the heart of defence and alongside, some of the greats, including Socceroos star Scott Chipperfield, Paul Reid, Sasho Petrovski, Alvin Ceccoli and Noel Spencer.
"I came into the first grade squad at the age of 16 and he really helped me out and took me under his wing," Sydney FC championship-winner and former Wolves player and coach Jacob Timpano said.
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