Ivan had been the Club?s groundsman for many years and only his deteriorating health prevented him from continuing this role.
His ability to produce a brilliant match day pitch was appreciated by the many players and coaches who were fortunate to have the United Sports Centre as their home ground.
Many would not know that Ivan was one of the Club?s most promising young players in the 1970?s. A truly gifted and skilful striker, Ivan had his career cut short just as he was establishing himself in first grade by a congenital kidney problem, a condition that would plague him for the rest of his life.
Sydney United?s glory days in the 1990?s will always be remembered for two things ? the club had the best team in Australia, playing on the best pitch in the country.
John Taylor, writing in the Daily Telegraph concluded that the pitch was one of the main reasons the club?s talented players were able to showcase their skills and famously referred to it as ?Gilligan?s Island?.
Gilligan not only served the club as a player and its most successful groundsman, but was always prepared to take on various coaching roles in his days. In his spare time he would prepare the fields for the club?s junior teams at nearby Allambie Reserve.
Even though he could no longer play, Gilligan loved the game and became an accomplised referee and would take the whistle whenever asked.
Ivan never married and lived with his parents within walking distance of the stadium. His other ?family? were the many people involved with Sydney United, and his pride and joy was the pitch at the United Sports Centre.
When not working, Ivan would spend hours watching the various Sydney United teams playing on his beloved pitch. His favourite spot was in the south western corner of the stadium. The Club honoured him by officially naming the area ?Gilligan?s Corner?
His contribution to the Sydney United legacy will never be forgotten. Sadly ?Gilligan?s Corner? will never be the same.
He will be missed by everyone at Sydney United, though we are comforted by the thought that he is still looking over ?his? field.
The United Sports Centre has been graced by many famous players over the years but ?Gilligan? remained one of United?s most recognisable characters .
Ivan ?Gilligan? Rendulic was 52.
Football NSW wishes to pass on its deepest condolences to the Rendulic family.