Gone but never forgotten…
Exactly 22 years ago one of the blackest pages in PAOK’s history was written. Panagiotis Katsouris was killed in a car accident and the entire PAOK family went into mourning for the young player.
A young man who from 18 months old was clad in the club’s black and white colors made many friends and tragically lost his life on his way home from a five-a-side match.
Panagiotis had two passions in life: football and cars. And it was the latter that betrayed him at one of the best periods of his life, at 22 years of age on the night of February 9th, 1998.
Katsouris was born on October 28th, 1976 and joined PAOK from Naousa in the summer of 1996. Perhaps the best left-back of his generation, he was already a Greece youth international and was soon added to PAOK’s first-team starting XI. On September 8th, 1996, in the opening match of the season, PAOK’s Swedish coach Gunder Bengston did not hesitate in giving him a place in the starting line-up for the OFI-PAOK match which OFI won 3-1.
Just as he had began his career at PAOK – with a match against OFI – his circle at PAOK ended with last last game before his tragic death being a 12-minute appearance against the Cretans on January 25th, 1998. Overall, he played 29 times for the Dikefalos tou Vorra and scored 3 goals.
The entire PAOK family family commemorates the memory of Panagiotis every year. And since 2009, the annual «Panagiotis Katsouris» Academy Tournament is held in his honor.