Caltex Socceroos star Tim Cahill says football in Australia is enjoying the success it is today thanks to the impact of people like the late Johnny Warren have had on the game.
Speaking at the unveiling of a sculpture of the late former Socceroos skipper at Allianz Stadium on Sunday, Cahill paid tribute to Warren’s legacy and said recognition for him is long overdue.
“It’s a monumental day for football. It's special, it’s something that should have been done a long time ago,” the Socceroos greatest-ever scorer said.
“More importantly, he was a pioneer of the sport. He’s somebody that the whole country looked up to.
“It’s a special day that we can all be very proud of.”
Warren was a part of the first Socceroos side which qualified for a World Cup, going to the tournament in West Germany in 1974.
In all he played 42 times for the green and gold, captaining on 27 occasions before going on to be a well-respected commentator and strong voice for the game when his playing days were over.
Warren is the 12th sporting figure to be honoured with a bronze sculpture at the venue, but the first of anyone associated with football.
“It’s about bloody time,” Cahill said.
“The first football statue and there’s a lot been done in the game. Like I said, he’s a pioneer, he’s someone we all looked up to.
“For me the best thing is to enjoy how proud we are of what we can do as a country, domestically and internationally.
"We can all be very proud of his legacy and what we can carry on going forward.”