FC Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk fans have collected the funds to erect a statue in memory of Ukrainian international goalkeeper Serhiy Perkhun, who died after a tragic accident on a football pitch.
The tragedy took place on 19 August 2001 in a match between FC Anzhi Makhachkala and Perkhun's club PFC CSKA Moskva. The goalkeeper collided with Anzhi striker Budun Budunov and was rushed to hospital with serious head injuries from which he subsequently died.
Dnipro were the first side the talented custodian played for and soon after his death the club's fans pledged to pay tribute to their idol. Money is still being collected for the statue and as yet it is undecided whether it will be built at Dnipro's Meteor stadium.
'I think this is right'
"As far as I know the Dnipropetrovsk federation, headed by my long-time friend Andriy Pavelko, has supported the idea for a monument to be built at Meteor stadium," said AC Milan and Ukraine forward Andriy Shevchenko, who played with Perkhun at youth and senior international level. "I think this is right."
'Honest and professional'
FC Shakhtar Donetsk midfield player Hennadiy Zubov, a team-mate of Perkhun in the Ukraine team which finished third in the UEFA European Under-16 Championship in 1994, said: "Fans across the whole of Ukraine should remember this guy. He could not imagine his life without football. He was always honest and professional about his job, and nobody was as respected and valued as him."
Perkhun was the youngest goalkeeper to play in the Ukrainian top flight, making his debut at the age of 16. He played 42 games for Dnipro from 1993 until 1998 and then spent two seasons in Moldova with FC Sheriff Tiraspol. In 2001, he joined Russian giants CSKA, where he appeared in only 13 games before the tragedy struck. He left wife Yulia and a daughter, born in December 2001, behind him.
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