71 days to go: Jack Reilly'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 kick off the countdown with  Jack Reilly, Australia's goalkeeper at the 1974 World Cup.  

FIFA World Cup: Countdown for the Caltex Socceroos

Cap number: 214

World Cups played at:




Age at World Cup:

31 (now 74)

Clubs played for:

Hibernian, Juventus Melbourne, Melbourne Hakoah, Fitzroy Alexander, South Melbourne



Best World Cup moment:

Reilly was in goal in all three of Australia's group games at the 1974 World Cup. In the final match against Chile he kept a clean sheet, ensuring his adopted nation claimed their first ever World Cup point with a goalless draw.

Career highlight:

Having left Scotland after failing to make the first team at Hibs, Reilly came to Australia after a brief stint in the USA and quickly caught the eye of the Socceroos selectors.

The 1974 World Cup was his undoubted career highlight, something he would not have achieved if he had stayed in his homeland.

Post-playing career:

Reilly became a successful businessman, working in the financial services sector.

He was a money markets professional and Victorian and Federal government Treasury advisor.

He also worked tirelessly to develop and establish the sport of football in Australia, spending seven years on the board of Football Federation Australia and four on a key FIFA committee.

Did you know?

Reilly secured the great German goalkeeper Sepp Maier's playing jersey after the two nations met at the 1974 World Cup and later donated it to the Martyn Crook Foundation who fetched $8500 for it at auction.

*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.