Katsouris, you’re still with us….
It was 24 years ago today that one of the black pages in PAOK’s history books was written. Panagiotis Katsouris tragically lost his life in a car accident, sending everyone in the PAOK family into mourning.
He was young man who in the one-and-a-half years that he wore the black and white shirt managed to make only friends, before his life was cut tragically short in a car accident when he was returning home from a 5-a-side match at night.
Panagiotis had two passions, football and cars, and it was the latter which was to cost him his life during the best moments of his career, at the age of just 22, on February 9, 1998.
Katsouris was born on October 28, 1976 and came to PAOK from Naoussa in the summer of 1996. Perhaps the best left-back of his generation, he was already an international with the Under-21 side, and this soon proved to be the best ticket for a fast-track entry into the PAOK first team. On September 8, 1996, on the opening day of the new season, the Swede Gunder Bengtsson did not hesitate to give him a starting place in a 3-1 defeat by OFI in Crete.
As he started – with a match against OFI – he also ended his circle at PAOK against the same opposition, as just a few days before his tragic accident, on January 25, 1998, he played for 12 minutes at the Toumba. He played a total of 29 times with the Double-headed Eagle on his chest, and scored 3 goals.
Every year, the PAOK family honors the memory of Panagiotis. Since 2009, the annual «Panagiotis Katsouris» tournament has been established in his memory.