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Latest update: 08/06/2009 18:17 +0300

Thyrotos: Captain For Ever

NICOSIA, 29 May 2009 The end of a 20-year career as a player was written for George Thyrotos, at the II Games of the Small states of Europe, in Monaco in 1987.   

He was captain of the Cyprus Basketball National team at the first appearance of the country's National Team at the GSSE. In Monaco 1987 Thyrotos played the last three matches of his international career, which had begun in 1970.

An astute playmaker, with great perception of the game and leadership skills, Thyrotos joined the men's team of AEL Limassol at the age of 14. At 15 he was on the starting lineup and a year later he was called to the National Team. He had been present during the "hard years" of Basketball in Cyprus but remained to see the sport pull through.

Thyrotos had been the captain of the Cyprus National Team from 1970 until his retirement in 1987. He was a leader in the first appearances of Cyprus at the qualifying rounds of the European Championship and won a gold medal at the 1985 GSSE. No one present at the Awards Ceremony can ever forget the tears in his eyes as he accepted the medal. As a player and later player/coach of AEL, Thyrotos has won everything between 1970 and 1980.

He had also served as National Team coach and continued his successes leading the women's National Team to its first medals.

A major figure for Basketball in Cyprus, Thyrotos was betrayed by his heart in January 2001, at the age of 47. But he lives on, in the memories of the people who consider themselves lucky to have met him. The street running in front of  AEL's stadium is named in honor of his memory and his no 15 shirt hangs in a prominent position inside.

PH/CP/CD

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