67 days to go: Col Curran'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 Col Curran, one of Australia's defenders at the 1974 World Cup.

FIFA World Cup: Countdown for the Caltex Socceroos

Cap number:  218

World Cups played at: 1974

Position: Defender

Age at World Cup: 26

Clubs played for: Adamstown Rosebud, Marconi,  Western Suburbs, KB United

Best World Cup moment

Curran 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.

Curran received an unfortunate place in history after becoming the first Australian to score at a World Cup, an own goal in a 2-0 loss to East Germany.

Career highlight

A hard-working and industrious fullback, Curran played 21 ‘A’ internationals for the Socceroos between 1970-79, scoring one goal.

He was one of Australia’s best at the 1974 World Cup and then-coach Rale Rasic said at the time that he was “the best footballer in Australia”.

He enjoyed a long and successful career in Australia, most notably with Adamstown Rosebud, Western Suburbs and KB United.

Post-playing career

Curran still resides in his hometown of Newcastle and remains good friends with fellow Novocastrian and ex-Socceroo Ray Baartz.

And in honour of  his contribution to football in the Hunter, Northern NSW Football’s ‘Heritage Cup’ has named it’s player of the final accolade the ‘Col Curran Medal’.

He was also inducted into the FFA Hall of Fame in 1999.

Did you know?

Col Curran trialed at Manchester United in the 1964/65 season after spending six weeks on a boat travel to the UK.

United offered him a contract as a 16-year-old but he turned it down, opting to return to Australia instead.

*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.