JASON GAZDAGH: Pride of the Roar

Brisbane Roar match days are special for Jason Gazdagh.

With his booming voice, his big smile and his unwavering devotion to the club, Gazdagh has become an admired and popular member of the Roar's football family.

He is at every game but to call him the consummate Roar fan would be an understatement.

Gazdagh is one of the building blocks of member support whose commitment to the Roar and its core beliefs have helped make the club the most successful in the Hyundai A-League.

Gazdagh is the principal of Pristine Homes which is the personal player sponsor of Roar captain Matt McKay. He has been with the club since day one and has enjoyed a decade of amazing highs as the Roar won three Hyundai A-League grand finals and two premierships.

"From the beginning there was a real friendliness about the club," Gazdagh says.

"And I believe that in the last four and half years that has been enhanced to the point now where it is a very family-like atmosphere . . . everyone is kind, the players are very hospitable and 

friendly, they shake your hand and say gidday, as we all should. I like it that no one's got a big head."

Football has been a huge part of 43-year-old Gazdagh's life.

His father Laslo (Les) came to Australia in 1956 from Hungary where he had been a freedom fighter since his early teens.

"Dad brought his passion for football to Australia. (Ferenc) Puskas is a hero of the Hungarian people and to us he was quite simply a wonderful footballer!," Gazdagh says.

"From the time I could walk we were playing football. When the Roar started Dad loved the Roar, we would come to every game."

Gazdagh's father passed away nearly five years ago and he recalls it was the family's faith that got them through their loss and several months later the Roar gave the Gazdagh family one of its most emotional days at a football match.

"When he lost Dad, the Roar were very kind," Gazdagh says.

"The emotional attachment to the club, beyond the football attachment, is very strong."

Four months later, Gazdagh and several of his family members were invited to the Roar's first Hyundai A-League Grand Final in 2011 – the never-to-be-forgotten penalty shootout (4-2) win after a 2-2 deadlock against the Central Coast Mariners.

"My brother Simon and I were at the game and were kindly invited into the Roar family suite," Gazdagh recalls.

"We were with all these (Roar) people we knew. When we scored the second goal my brother and 

I were just crying our eyes out . . because of the result and also because of Dad. We just thought Dad would have loved to have seen this."

Gazdagh is quick to name Roar's international marquee Thomas Broich as his favourite player, although he also has special mentions for former Roar captain Matt Smith, who was sponsored by Pristine Homes before he transferred to Thailand earlier this season, and Socceroo McKay, who the company supports now.

"Thomas Broich has the European style we adore. He has a true passion for the game," Gazdagh says.

"He is a man of morales and principals. He's not the only one in the club like that by the way. They all are that way but Thomas stands out as a true sportsman and a gentleman."

Even away from the Roar, Gazdagh's life still revolves around football.

His company also sponsors the Durack-based Brisbane Force, which plays in Football Brisbane's Capitol One League.

Gazdagh, his family and members of his church gather at the club's C J Greenfield Complex in Freeman Road every Sunday night for a friendly kick around.

"We usually have at least 20 a side. It's crazy but great fun," he says.

The weekly games have formed part of a fitness and lifestyle regime that has seen Gazdagh remarkably lose more than 140kg from his former 235kg frame.

In addition to a gastric band, he attributes his weight loss to "cutting back on eating garbage, getting bad habits out of my head and in no small measure thanks to the encouragement within the Roar."

Although the Roar's 2014/15 season is very much in the balance right now, Gazdagh's enthusiasm for the future is contagious. He urges all fans, existing and new, to maintain the faith.

"Don't miss out on even one game," he says.

"As we see with the guys in the Den and various other passionate supporters, they hang in there through the tough times but then the beauty is you then get the great times.

"You have to have gone through the tough times, like this season, to know how good it can be. 

"Throughout the season it hasn't worried where we might finish (on the table) just as long as that positive football continued that thankfully has come back into our game.

"There will always be ups and downs, of course, just like life because football is life."

And that is so true for Jason Gazdagh, his family and Brisbane Roar FC.