65 days to go: Jimmy Rooney's FIFA World Cup story

As part of our countdown to the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia, we profile every Australian player who's been to a World Cup.

Today we continue the countdown with Jimmy Rooney, one of Australia's midfielders at the 1974 World Cup.

READ: FIFA World Cup: Countdown for the Caltex Socceroos

Cap number: 223

World Cups played at: 1974

Position: midfielder

Age at World Cup: 28 (now 72)

Clubs played for: Lochlee Harp, Peterborough United, Montrose, Lions, Prague, APIA Leichhardt,Marconi, Fitzroy Alexander.

 Best World Cup moment

Rooney played in all three matches for the Socceroos at their first-ever World Cup in 1974.

He was a part of the side that drew 0-0 with Chile in their final fixture in West Germany, claiming the Socceroos’ first ever World Cup point.

He was one of Australia’s best at the ’74 World Cup with his hard-working style along with his excellent distribution catching plenty of attention.

Career highlight

Born in Scotland, Rooney went on to play more than 100 games for the Socceroos including 57 ‘A’ internationals, which featured three goals.  

He enjoyed a long career in Australia after migrating in 1965, playing for a host of clubs in Victoria and NSW.

Playing at the ’74 would be one of his career highlights, along with captaining the Socceroos, which he did on nine occasions.

Post-playing career

Rooney was one of the inaugural inductees into the FFA Hall of Fame in 1999.

The now 72-year-old is living in Melbourne and still works for a building company in an administrative capacity.

Did you know?

He came up against  Brazilian superstar Pele when  Santos played in Australia and rates the forward as the best player he ever faced.

He also played with Hungarian legend Ferenc Puskas in a charity match when the striker was coaching in Victoria between 1989-1992.

*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.