58 days to go: Max Tolson'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.

The latest member of our countdown is Max Tolson, a rugged centre-forward who was part of the 22-man roster in 1974.

READ: Full countdown for the Caltex Socceroos

Cap number: 224

World Cups played at: 1974

Position: Striker

Age at World Cup: 28 (now 72)

Clubs played for:

South Coast United, Workington, Marconi, Safeway United, Sydney Croatia

Best World Cup moment:

Tolson was an unused member in 1974 as he provided cover for the likes of Attila Abonyi and Safeway United team-mate Adrian Alston.

But while he may not have seen any minutes in West Germany, the physical striker played a memorable cameo in getting Australia there.

Rale Rasic's side headed to Tehran in the penultimate stage of qualifying with a valuable 3-0 first-leg advantage over Iran, but the hosts quickly wiped two goals off the deficit.

Rasic turned to Tolson at half-time and got exactly what he needed, the Wollongong product giving Iran's defence a torrid time as Australia clung on for a 3-2 aggregate victory that set up the fateful clash with South Korea.

Rale Rasic
Iran were "mentally gone" after Tolson's efforts, Rasic recounted in 2013.

Career highlight:

In his first senior season, a young Tolson was involved in South Coast United's 1963 NSW State League Grand Final triumph against APIA Leichhardt in front of over 30,000 fans at the Sydney Sports Ground.

His coach, Jimmy Kelly, went on to lead the national team for two games in 1964 and took Tolson with him to English outfit Workington the following year.

Tolson scored six goals across two seasons for the third-tier side, with the stint making him one of few players to boast professional experience among the 1974 squad.

Post-playing career:

Tolson's full-blooded approach meant injuries curtailed his career not long after the World Cup.

The former apprentice butcher went on to run a caravan park in Budgewoi, before relocating to Queensland.

Did you know?

Tolson's younger brother Rob is reported to have been the first Australian football fan to secure a ticket to the 2006 FIFA World Cup, 32 years after Max's excursion to West Germany.