Australian Soccer Icon Mr Johnny Warren Passes Awa

Australian Soccer is in mourning tonight after the news that Johnny Warren passed away this afternoon after a long battle with cancer. He was aged 61.

Australian Soccer is in mourning tonight after the news that Johnny Warren passed away this afternoon after a long battle with cancer.  He was aged 61.   "There has never been a finer ambassador for the sport of soccer in Australia," said Australian Soccer Association Chairman Mr Frank Lowy.   "A wonderful man and a great Australian, he is an inspiration to the players that have followed in his footsteps."   "He truly is a household name and an icon not only in Australia but in world football."    "On behalf of the entire soccer community I'd like to pass on our condolences to his partner Sibere, mother Majorie, brothers Ross and Geoff, his daughter Shannon and his entire family and friends."    "Although he has passed away he has left a legacy that will never be forgotten."   ASA Chief Executive Officer Mr John O'Neill said that Mr Warren was always looking for solutions for the betterment of football in Australia.   "His contribution to football in Australia is immeasurable and the ASA was honoured to nominate Mr Warren (pictured above receiving his award) earlier this year for the FIFA Centenary Order of Merit which he duly received from FIFA President Mr Sepp Blatter.  Only one person could be nominated from each country and we had no hesitation in putting Mr Warren's name forward as the person who has made the greatest contribution to soccer in Australia," said Mr O'Neill.   "To many, he was the face of Australian soccer and a relentless campaigner to improve the standing and quality of the game in this country."   "Mr Warren's passion and support of the game never wavered and despite his illness he still managed to show his support by attending the launch of our new national league earlier this week."   JOHNNY WARREN BIO   Born in Sydney on 17 May 1943, the youngest of three boys, he grew up in the southern Sydney suburb of Botany. He was a junior at Botany Methodists, and received his first taste of representative football when selected for the Protestant Churches state team at age 10.

Following a year at Earlwood Wanderers, he joined the Canterbury third grade senior team in 1959, aged 15. Later that year he was promoted to the NSW state league club-s first grade team, and by 1960 he had established himself in an attacking midfield position as one of the team-s key players. The 17 year old scored twice in a 3-2 preliminary final win over Apia Leichhardt to earn Canterbury a place in the 1960 NSW grand final. In 1963 he moved to St George Budapest, the start of a 12 year playing stint with one of the country-s biggest clubs of the era. Over these 12 seasons, St George featured in six NSW state league grand finals (winning three), finished as premiers once and as premiership runners up seven times, and won two state league (Ampol) cups. He could not have ended his playing career at St George more fittingly as he scored the sealing goal in St George-s 4-2 NSW grand final victory over Sydney City Hakoah in 1974, the goal scored after Warren stole the ball in his own defensive half and ran through, evading two defenders, before beautifully curling ball around the advancing Hakoah goalkeeper.

His senior representative career commenced in 1965 when he played in a 0-0 draw with Cambodia in November 1965. By 1967 he was the captain of the national team, and he played a starring role in Australia-s victory in the 1967 Vietnam National Day tournament, Australia-s first international trophy, won in a war ravaged Saigon. In 1969 he led the Aussies on a gruelling World Cup campaign, where Australia took on Japan, South Korea, Zimbabwe and Israel in an exhaustingly hectic qualifying series, losing out on qualifying for the 1970 World Cup at the last hurdle. In 1970 he captained the Australians on an extensive tour of Asia and Europe, which included memorable victories against the likes of Iran, Israel and Greece, before a 15 month break from the national team due to a bad knee injury. He played in qualifying matches for the 1974 World Cup, where Australia reached the finals tournament for its only time, and at West Germany -74 he played in the 2-0 loss to East Germany, where he suffered a foot injury which ruled him out of Australia-s two remaining World Cup games. After playing 62 internationals for Australia, he then retired from the national team.

Following his playing career he embarked on a 30 year journey of teaching, preaching and reaching out to spread the word of the real football in Australia and beyond. In 1974 he was awarded the MBE for his services to soccer. With the formation of the NSL in 1977, he joined brand new national league club Canberra City as manager-coach, where he played a major role in selecting a competitive NSL team from scratch. In 1978 he was the feature of a ‘This Is Your Life- TV special. In 1990 the National Soccer League announced the ‘Warren Medal- as its player of the year award. He was inducted in to Bicentennial (sporting) Hall of Fame in 1988, and was in the initial intake of the Australian Soccer Hall of Fame inductees in 1999.

He took on countless coaching and development roles, media responsibilities, ambassadorial duties and many more undertakings all with the aim of bettering the ‘beautiful game- in this country.  

   Born: 17-May-1943    Position: Midfield    Socceroo honours:       A-internationals: [1965-1974] 42 games (6 goals)       Other internationals: [1967-1974] 20 games (3 goals)       All internationals: [1965-1974] 62 games (9 goals)  - captain 1967-1970      All games (and goals):       1965 [A int] Cambodia, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Malaysia       1967 [A int] Scotland, Scotland, New Zealand (1 gl), South Vietnam (1 gl), Singapore, Malaysia, South Korea (1 gl), Indonesia, Singapore, Malaysia       1967 [Non-A] Jakarta XI       1968 [A int] Japan       1969 [A int] Greece, Greece, Greece, Japan, South Korea, Japan, South Korea, Rhodesia, Rhodesia (1 gl), Israel, Israel       1970 [A int] Iran, Israel, Greece, Mexico       1970 [Non-A] Kowloon Bus Company, South Vietman Army, New Caledonia (1 gl), New Caledonia, Jardine Sports Club, Macao (2 gls), Ogheb, Tehran XI, Hapoel, Greece B, Luton Town, Manchester City, League of Ireland       1972 [A int] Indonesia, New Zealand (1 gl), South Vietnam, South Korea, Philippines (1 gl)       1972 [Non-A] South Vietnam u23       1973 [A int] Bulgaria, New Zealand, Iran, Iran, South Korea       1974 [A int] Indonesia, East Germany (World Cup finals)       1974 [Non-A] Ferencvaros, Ferencvaros, St Gallen, Young Boys, Xamax Neuchatel    Senior club career:       1959  Canterbury (NSW)       1960  Canterbury (NSW) won grand final       1961  Canterbury (NSW) lost grand final       1962  Canterbury (NSW)       1963  St George (NSW)       1964  St George (NSW)       1965  St George (NSW)       1966  St George (NSW)       1967  St George (NSW) won grand final, won state cup       1968  St George (NSW)       1969  St George (NSW) lost grand final       1970  St George (NSW) lost grand final       1971  St George (NSW) won grand final 1972   St George (NSW) premiers, lost grand final, won state cup 1973 1973   St George (NSW) 1974   St George (NSW) won grand final     Club coaching career:       1975  St George (NSW) won grand final, won state cup       1977  Canberra City (NSL) 1978   Canberra City (NSL)