Many tributes to Imre have been circulating around in emails threads among the soccer community. It is important to share this with the soccer community. If you want to add something, please either add to the comment section of this post or email


From Pete Kealy

Imre will be very much missed,

Not only was he a fantastic player, he was a natural coach and teacher,

I will miss his passion and his inspiration.

Here is a line from an email he sent me just 4 days ago;

“We are in agreement. Imagine the FC Georgia guys getting stronger and better.”

What a pleasure and honor to have to have known him and played with him for the past 10 years!


I enclosed some fond memories. Your playing in a better place now Imre!,





Yianni, “It is about time that you showed up” Imre said.  He was glad to see me one Tuesday morning, last September when I came to practice with you all.

I had the luck to meet Imre and play with him for a couple of seasons, about 10 years ago. I have to say that it was a unique experience. He was one of the best soccer players that I ever played soccer with. And most importantly, he was a great person who was trying always to help his teamates, both physically and mentally. It was a pleasure knowing Imre and it was a great privilege to be able to play in the same team with him too.

I agree with  Phil. I think God needs Imre to show them up there how to pass and control the ball. Nice and easy as  he always did it with us down here.

We will miss a beautiful friend for sure!

Sincere Condolences,

Yiannis Maxouris and Family


That is a true loss to the soccer community in the area. He was a incredible person and I feel blessed to have known him for the short time I did.

Brian Maloney


My thoughts and prayers are for his family and friends this morning. I don’t understand why these things happen, but what I do know is how Imre lived his life and for his example I am grateful. Go with God Imre.

Terry Shay Breed


Imre you are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control

Dear Imre,

Words never seem to capture the true feelings a person has for another individual.  We may not remember all the things you said, but we won’t forget how we felt when we were with you.  We felt God’s love through you.   I see you playing that perfect game of soccer in heaven this morning, running beautifully with a perfectly ageless intelligent performing body making good memories.

You can’t be replaced Imre, there was only one unique you. We are going to miss you brother. You’ve left us with good memories.

Andy Goddard

This writing from Max Lucado could have been written by Imre. I feel he lived with these verses in his spiritual heart.

Each Day Max Lucado

It’s quiet. It’s early. My coffee is hot. The sky is still black. The world is still asleep. The day is coming.

In a few moments, the day will arrive. It will roar down the track with the rising of the sun. The stillness of the dawn will be exchanged for the noise of the day. The calm of solitude will be replaced by the pounding of the human race. The refuge of the early morning will be invaded by decisions to be made and deadlines to be met.

For the next twelve hours I will be exposed to the day’s demands. It is now I must make a choice. Because of Calvary, I’m free to choose. And so I choose.


No occasion justifies hatred; no injustice  warrants bitterness. I choose love.

Today I will love God and what God loves.


I will invite my God to be the God of circumstance.

I will refuse the temptation to be cynical… the tool of the lazy thinker. I will refuse to see people as anything less than human beings, created by God. I will refuse to see any problem as anything less than an opportunity to see God.


I will live forgiven. I will forgive so that I may live.


I will overlook the inconveniences of the world.

Instead of cursing the one who takes my place, I’ll invite him to do so. Rather than complain that the wait is too long, I will thank God for a moment to pray. Instead of clenching my fist at new assignments, I will face them with joy and courage.


I will be kind to the poor, for they are alone.

I will be kind to the rich, for they are afraid. And kind to the unkind, for such is how God has treated me.


I will go without a dollar

before I take a dishonest one. I will be overlooked before I will boast. I will confess before I will accuse. I choose goodness.


Today I will keep my promises.

My debtors will not regret their trust. My associates will not question my word. Lisa will not question my love. Jamie and Kelly will never fear that their father will not come home.


Nothing is won by force. I choose to be gentle.

If I raise my voice, may it be only in praise.

If I clench my fist, may it only be in prayer.

If I make a demand, may it only be of myself.

I am a spiritual being…

After this body is dead, my spirit will soar.

I refuse to let what will rot rule the eternal.

I choose self-control. I will be drunk only by joy.

I will be impassioned only by my faith.

I will be influenced only by God.

I will be taught only by Christ.

I choose self-control.

Love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.

To these I commit my day.

If I succeed, I will give thanks.

If I fail, I will seek His grace.

And then, when this day is done,

I will place my head on my pillow

and rest.

Galatians 5:22-23(ESV)

22 But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, 23 gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law.

Rest in peace Imre, you were so loved by everyone.

Andy Goddard


God Bless him

Rafael Salerno


I am stunned. . .that such a positive and encouraging force in our soccer community is gone. His example and coaching helped me.

I will miss him.

Bob Gaare


I was stunned by this . I enjoyed playing with Imre so much. He always had a suggestion or thought how to improve your game or in your approach to life. I consider him my friend and I will miss him.

Soccer will be a little less fun without him.

If his family needs any help count me in

Gary Howington


Try as I may , I have been unable to find the words to describe how shocked and saddened I am at the news of imre’s passing .

I had spent many evenings this past two years

Try as May there are no words to fully explain how shocked and saddened I was at the news that our dear friend Imre had passed away, over the past two years I had spent many hours in conversation with my wife about this one” older ” player in particular that on many occasions turned me inside out with his football skills ,touch and control specifically  , my Tuesday and Thursday mornings will never be the same again , the world not just us have lost a very special human being, my condolences to your family Imre.

Gone never to be forgotten

Gerald Newton


He was a special human being as a mentor and as a friend.

I’m shock, very special men that I won’t never forget.

Pedro Moreno



I as well, am shocked and saddened by the loss of our beloved Imre. He was a very special man; a great player, coach, visionary of not only of soccer, but the human condition as well. Let us carry on in remembrance of this truly special person, and keep he and his family in our hearts and prayers. Rest in Peace, our friend. May our Lord in Heaven keep you in the warmth of His loving hands.

Psalms 16:11 You will show me the path of life; In Your presence is fullness of joy; At Your right hand are pleasures forevermore. Nearness to God himself is the only all-satisfying experience of the universe. God created us, and He created us to live in fellowship with Him. Only as we do that will we know true joy and satisfaction.

Robert Signaigo


I only knew for less then a year but found him to be a great human being, friendly and full of good and  friendly advise

Please let me know when the wake and funeral arrangements are made.

May he rest in peace and may God provide his family and friends the strength they need to cope with their/ all of our loss

Franco Chillemi


I have struggled all day to find the right words to describe my feelings in the loss of such a strong individual.  I had the joy of playing with and against (not much joy, as he had a way of scoring goals past me many a time) Imre in many games.

I look for comfort in Proverbs 3: 5 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding”.  I figure God needed Imre upstairs to train his soccer team.

God Bless his family and friends.

Phil Leone


It will not be the same with out him for a long  time, we will miss him.

Steve Norton


How unexpected. We’ve lost a good friend. Imre was a very interesting man, both on the field and off. Always looking to make himself and those around him better, always level-headed and calming on the field. I learned a lot from him for sure.

Jerry Hudson


I’m shocked …. We have lost a  unique person and an irreplaceable soccer player! His  fair behavior, positive attitude and team spirit will be missed forever. A wonderful individual.  Imra we will miss you!

Best regards,

Karl-Heinz Lochner


Imre has left us all with so many fond memories and also great examples of how to be better players and better people. I always looked forward to playing a game if Imre was on our team. He understood how to play, how to communicate and how to lead. He was truly an inspiration. Most, if not all, of my best Rovers memories include Imre.

If Sonja and family need any help / assistance with anything please count me in.

Sincere condolences,

Mark Collins and family.

Sarasota, Florida.


A very sad day indeed. Everyone was touched by this unique man.

My thoughts and prayers for his family…..

HUGO Lanfranco


I’m the one who got him into

Soccer 20 years ago. He never

Changed, a king among men.

stephen denton


Wow, really sad to hear. I would see him at our school from time to time with his karate or tae Kwan do program…..

Really sad!

Alex Tis


There are many things I admired about Imre. The biggest is that he was a passionate man…passionate about friendships, passionate about soccer and certainly passionate about life.

He knew I was a sloth when it came to living by his philosophy of ones mind and spirit over body. When he saw me coming the first thing he would ask is “ George what hurts today?” and I’d chuckle and say “nothing Imre, I’m perfect.” We’d then laugh together. He cared about everyone and was convinced he could help anyone who wanted help….on or off the soccer field. I was lucky enough to spend time with Imre in the presence of his wonderful wife Sonja on a couple of occasions. One in particular in Florida at a tournament where we stayed up until the early hours in a condo just talking about life and telling jokes.

I can only imagine the Pataki family’s pain today. My deepest condolences to them.

He believed that anyone could achieve anything they wanted to and while I will miss his presence, I will forever celebrate a life with great meaning, very well lived!! Well done Imre, you’ve shown us the way. RIP!!

George Georgiou


I am completely stunned. His voice still rings in my ears and the images of him in my brain after tournament practice just this past weekend. So fit and tuned to health when so many of the rest of us are much less so. Hard to digest. Imre, you were taken too soon mate, and there is another empty space in the soccer community that can never be filled again. Prayers for peace, strength and comfort for his family and all of us.

Alan Vaughan

We lost a much beloved and respected member of the Atlanta Soccer community last night.

Imre Pataki died at the Atlanta Soccerplex.

Details are unknown at this time.

Imre’s involvement and leadership within the Atlanta Adult Soccer community has had far reaching effect. His decisions and direction were instrumental in the growth not only of Rovers FC but the founding of this team. Express Locomotive.

He will be missed.

RIP Imre.

Paul Kelly

Express Locomotive


Sad day for his family as well as the entire Atl soccer community. Imre was a great ambassador of the game we all love. Great friend and a great teammate. As Alan said, way too soon for those of us left behind.

My condolences to his family.

Brent Bennett


the teacher has died…RIP Imre

Quique Lopez


There is nothing more that I can add to all the great things that has been already said about  our great soccer player and friend ambre I did see him Sunday morning at the star and had our last talk as always enjoyed our conversation I am still in shock !!!!

Joseph Golshani


On Saturday morning, I watched Imre glide-dribble past three players, as if they were cones. He was wearing jeans and tennis shoes, in that, he had not planned to play with us.  A fourth player took the ball off of his feet.  Of course, we joked about this moment.

I will miss his smile, his positive outlook, and his passion for the game.  I will hold on to the memory of his passion for life , and, the way he brought out the promise in what others were trying to do.  I will miss my spiritual captain, even if I have trouble saying “full physical function”

Nova, Michael Joseph



Rest in Peace my brother. We have played together for over 12 years, and have won many battles together. You have though me a lot, even though you always said that I was either hard of hearing, or had selective hearing. You will be missed and will be in my daily praires…God Speed my friend, and see you again on the other side….

Frank Loureiro


I was shocked and sadden to hear the terrible news. I knew Imre for many years and played with him last season. It was great knowing him as a person, as a leader and an outstanding soccer player. It was a lot of fun playing with him, he will be missed very much. Life is not fair. My condolences to Sonya and the family.

Shlomo & Marilyn Kassis


I am deeply saddened by the loss of Imre.  I have so many pleasant memories of playing soccer with him.  I really got to know and appreciate Imre at the early Rovers FC kick rounds on Robinson Road.  Imre was such a great mentor and I consider myself very lucky to have met him.  He provided so much positive and uplifting advice, wit, and wisdom and was truly inspirational for me and countless others.

Imre, you will be missed but not forgotten.

Sincere condolences,

Mike Kinion and family


a day to reflect on a tragic death what a wonderful man imre was and his family whom he adored so fit and charismatic when you were in his company you just listened and the bullet points would flow in relation how to keep yourself fit and how to improve and win the game with the half time team talk I have heard the cause of death a ruptured aortic aneursym found easily on an ultrasound scan of abdomen eminently treatable and life goes on i am sure all the family and sons and daughters will know to get scanned after  the funeral takes place please everyone get a scan over the age of 50 to reassure themselves they do not have an aneursym i still cannot believe this has happened and it brings tears to my eyes keep me informed when the service takes place

dr ian smith  family practitioner over the pond in cotswolds of england 


I am still in shock. This is Imre we are talking about, fit, positive, healthy, promised us to live at least to be 100, helping others telling them how to live better and become better and then he left us. I don’t know what to say. RIP my friend.

Engin K.


God bless you, Imre… Thank you for your tireless service.

Nick Aliffi


So very sorry to hear. His family is in my prayers.

Bill Kimbro


 I am at a loss for words. I was just kicking the ball around with him and have many conversations with him at games. His advice and calm demeanor will not be forgotten.

Jim Vadino



Playing with him made me a better player , exercising and stretching with him made me physically better. All of us , young and old , have benefited from his enduring care for us.

The word selfishness did not exist in his vocabulary , he gave to all of us and made us better.

Although Imre’s body has departed he still lives in all of us. We all carry him and his mantras with us for the rest of our lives.

Our family wishes his family all the strength and love in this trying time , may he rest in peace.”

Edwin and Christine Hoenderdos


Playing with him made me a better player , exercising and stretching with him made me physically better. All of us , young and old , have benefited from his enduring care for us.

The word selfishness did not exist in his vocabulary , he gave to all of us and made us better.

Although Imre’s body has departed he still lives in all of us. We all carry him and his mantras with us for the rest of our lives.

Our family wishes his family all the strength and love in this trying time , may he rest in peace.”

Edwin and Christine Hoenderdos



—————————————When I met first met him, I was out of shape, angry, and generally horrible at soccer. When he would see me starting to lose my temper, he would jog over, give me encouragement and advice (even if he was on the other team), and go back to playing. MANY times I thought about throwing away my cleats before a well-timed Imre intervention set things right. Years later, he was reffing my over 30 men’s league games…always asking how my dad was doing, saying he was proud of me for making a healthy turn in my life, and how much I’ve improved as a player.

This meant the world to me.

Imre taught “the gentile art of Akido” to kids when he wasn’t refereeing games. He always told me how invested he was in ensuring that people had a healthy outlet,and that I should sign up for one of his classes. It was this past Sunday after donating his time refereeing for a Christmas charity soccer tournament that Imre passed away…his final moments spent in service. I thought about playing in this tournament…but I didn’t. I didn’t get a last chance to see my friend. So I’ll have to remember the last time I saw him on the field, his arm around my shoulder much like a grandfather…

“Nicholas, you played well today.”

Thanks Imre… I needed that.

Nick Aliffi

Truly one of the most unique human beings I have ever met and his love for the beautiful game and people

in general was most evident in his quest for perfection of the skill and his gentle manner. God seems to take these special people from us early I guess with the hope that the impact of their special ways spreads.  As I read the tributes he has impacted us all so lets honor him by applying a little each day of what he taught us especially, kindness, patience, understanding, and teaching which are attributes we need much more in today’s seemingly upside down world.

Rich Leone

Imre’s passing is a shock (he was a great man),  a friend – but what’s more its a reminder we are all on borrowed time.

I sometimes throw my feelings down in writing, and shared this with a close soccer friend, who suggested passing on to you. I don’t know his family – but feel free to pass anonymously the poem below (its rough and I am  no poet) on your blog, to his family, whatever, if you think appropriate. He was a good soul.

The Referplayer!

The turf, the dreams, a pick up game,
That works in all of a player’s life
Its the round that moves endlessly
The start is the end and the beginning

The game may rest but the adrenaline flows
And the vigor and happiness from family and friends
Its made more perfect the love
To have played and thought of it as y’all

To judge a spirit so enthusiastic and loose
It was the job of giving back
The purity of equity that my judgement be
But there is a referee that called the ultimate game
And his whistle was loader than me

But in all things the right call is soul liberating
And now the heart and spirit run free
And in the game I now play
All precious to those in mortal life
Is to let you all know we are spectators here!

And like an encouraging crowd
It can pain eleviate
And happiness elevate.
Feel the pass, the tackle, the save
The goal is to seek and to liberate!
It is still sinking in, Just found out , a hour go, still trying to make sense of it ,  What a great human being , sports man , and soccer player, so soon taken away from us, What a wonderful human being , Philosopher , and teacher he was ,  always working to make others perform better , not only physically, but also spiritually, You will be missed dear friend, Rest in Peace Imre, we have all learned from you, THANK YOU.
John z.
My condolences to his family.I wont be able to be dare for funeral.Going to visit my family in Ca.I will miss him on soccer field.He was excellent soccer player and a dear friend.My thoughts and prayers for his family in this difficult time.
Mike Marcelic
man I can’t believe that emri I have to read your email over and over and over again like you said in your email we talked to him on Sunday he was in great spirits boy did he love the game I’ll miss him

Mick Shannon