55 days to go: Dave Harding's FIFA World Cup story

There are fewer than two months until the 2018 FIFA World Cup and, as part of the run-up to Russia, we are profiling every Australian player who's been to the tournament.

Today in our countdown is Dave Harding, a midfielder who was part of the history-making 1974 squad.

READ: FIFA World Cup: Countdown for the Caltex Socceroos

Cap number: 236

World Cups played at: 1974

Position: Midfielder

Age at World Cup: 27 (now aged 71)

Clubs played for:

Wrexham, South Liverpool, Pan-Hellenic, Western Suburbs, Blacktown City, APIA Leichhardt

Best World Cup moment:

Harding only made his first full international appearance less than two months out from the start of the FIFA World Cup, starting in the infamous friendly against Uruguay in Sydney that ended Ray Baartz's career.

With key figures such as Johnny Warren and Jimmy Mackay his positional rivals, Harding remained an unused member of the squad in West Germany.

Career highlight:

Opportunities began to up following the conclusion of the FIFA World Cup campaign and Harding was quick to make his mark against storied opposition in 1975.

He scored from the spot in a 2-1 loss Scottish champions Rangers in June that of that year before the Aussies got their revenge in Brisbane five days later, Harding playing another full match in a 1-0 win.

A week later he was in the team that was beaten 4-0 by a Manchester United side led by Tommy Docherty in Sydney.

Harding made a habit of scoring against touring teams, netting against the likes of Tottenham, Arsenal and the Bobby Charlton All-Stars - which featured the Manchester United legend, his brother Jack and Leeds United ace Peter Lorimer - over the next two years.

Post-playing career:

Harding was inducted into the FFA Hall of Fame in 2003.

At the time, he told Mike Cockerill the honour surpassed even that of his international debut.

Did you know?

Australia's 236th international was born in Liverpool, England and featured for fourth-tier Wrexham prior to emigrating Down Under in the 1960s.

*Photographs from the Les Shorrock, Laurie Schwab and Anton Cermak collections are used with permission from Deakin University Library, Eileen Shorrock and Mrs Jana Cermak.