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.”
Risdon driven by World Cup ambition amid 'competitive' Caltex Socceroos camp
Caltex Socceroos right-back Josh Risdon is braced for an intense training standard as he seeks to realise his boyhood dream of FIFA World Cup selection. Risdon is in contention to add to his five international caps when Australia take on Norway in Oslo on Saturday morning (AED
Fit and firing Behich sets sights on twin Caltex Socceroos wins
Caltex Socceroos full-back Aziz Behich is taking career-best form into what he hopes will be back-to-back wins at the beginning of Bert van Marwijk's tenure. Australia's 26-man squad have assembled in Oslo ahead of Van Marwijk's first match in charge against Norway on Saturday
Norway v Caltex Socceroos: 4 key match ups
Bert van Marwijk’s first match in charge as Caltex Socceroos boss sees his side take on tricky European outfit Norway at the Ullevaal Stadion on Saturday, March 24 (AEDT). With a chance for his players to stake a claim for a spot on the plane to Russia in June, it’s an importa
Ultimate Guide: Caltex Socceroos vs Norway and Colombia
Caltex Socceroos coach Bert van Marwijk has assembled a 26-man squad for this month's twin friendlies that will help determine his FIFA World Cup roster. The players on show against Norway and Colombia have the chance to show the new boss what they can do as they push to squee