Obituary – ANNOUNCER ENIO PERRUZZA ONE OF THE BEST
PICTURE: Enio Perruzza (left) received a special CSL Broadcaster Award in 2012
Enio Perruzza will always be known as one of Canada’s top announcers in sporting events but for many years he held a private but proud memory of playing a game in the Canadian Soccer League. It was on September 5, 1999 when one of the league’s top teams, the Toronto-based North York Astros, had three goalkeepers on the injured list and a hurried transaction at the league office provided a temporary permit allowing Perruzza to play in an important match at Dufferin Park in Thornhill, just north of the city. It was a disastrous CSL debut for the sports announcer and commentator with the Astros losing 7-0 to Glen Shields Sun Devils. The amiable, always fun to be with Perruzza, entered the game as a substitute and did not concede all goals, nevertheless quickly returned to using his booming voice at the microphone, leaving the business of playing soccer to the players.
Enio Perruzza died on January 15 at the age of 54 after being admitted to hospital in York Region several times during the past two years for surgery and treatment of a heart condition.
While an avid fan of the NHL’s Montreal Canadiens and a follower of many sports, soccer was the Italian-born Perruzza’s favourite and his talent for detail and clarity that could often be heard outside a stadium, attracted attention during the summer of 1986 which led to an invitation to announce a Toronto Blizzard game on August 3 that year. The appointment was the beginning of 34 years of announcing and commentary of more than 3,000 events.
In his itinerary were many visiting teams including Benfica, Red Star Belgrade, the Mexican under 20 side and the Italian military team, but he held a pride also in being invited to announce 18 Ontario Cup finals and the occasional appointment to provide colour commentary on television.
Perruzza was recognized for his work in Canadian soccer, including a special broadcaster award at the Canadian Soccer League’s annual awards banquet in 2012.
David Rumack, who often assisted at games and stepped in when Perruzza was double booked, knew Enio well and was saddened by the news of his passing. “ Enio was a natural behind the microphone. An amazing professional he was great to work with, often well dressed and wore a tie for his work. His always wide smile was quick to greet many special guests to the press box. We in the soccer community are going to miss Enio greatly,” he said
Dragan Bakoc, president of the Canadian Soccer League, paid tribute to Enio Perruzza: “Enio was very much a part of the CSL as a friend and colleague covering many games for a very long time. Enio was known for his happy personality and great sense of humour while being highly professional with his announcements. He was very much in our plans when games resume this year and I know he would be looking forward to that time. This is a sad time and Enio will be missed for a very long time in the future,” he said.
Similar sentiments were expressed by Cyndy De Thomasis of York Region Shooters, a team that engaged Perruzza to announce home games on a regular basis over many seasons: “We are very saddened by the news and I am quite shocked. Enio was well liked by everyone at the club, also the fans he often greeted as they arrived. The players enjoyed his careful pronunciation of their names and got to know Enio as ‘the voice of the CSL’, he was clear and loud and at times could still be heard during a microphone malfunction. But apart from all of that, Enio was a nice guy with a very pleasant personality, always positive. He’s going to be a big miss for us and the soccer community,” she said.
Enio Perruzza is survived by parents Crescenzo and Angela, sisters Rosanna (Joe) Cuzzolino and Maria (Paul) D’Aguanno. Enio was uncle of Julia (Mark), Ashley (Jonathan), Gian Paolo and Alessandro, loving great zio of Sarino and Lorena.
A private visitation and service has taken place. In lieu of flowers donations would be appreciated to the Heart and Stroke Foundation or the charity of choice.
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