Jimmy Mackay's son's incredible message to Rasic after celebration of Rale's life

47 years ago today Jimmy Mackay unleashed a stunning strike that sent the Socceroos to their first ever World Cup.

The goal decided a dramatic three-match series between Australia and South Korea with a prized position at West Germany 1974 on the line.

Playing on Korean soil just a few days earlier, Rale Rasic’s men fought back from two goals down to send the tie to a deciding fixture on neutral ground in Hong Kong.

Both sides were so evenly matched they knew it would take something special to find a winner.

It was Mackay who stood tall when his nation needed him most, teed up by fellow Scottish-born midfield partner Jimmy Rooney.

From 28-metres out, he hammered a powerful drive that nestled into the top corner; an iconic image that lived in the hearts and minds of Australian football faithful for years to come.

Mackay tragically passed away in 1998 at the age of 54.

In his memory, Rale Rasic donned the midfielder’s Socceroos Cap during July’s broadcast Rale Rasic: A Celebration.

Following the program, Jimmy’s son Malcolm reached out to the former Socceroos boss with a powerful message of gratitude.

“From myself and on behalf of the Mackay family, I thank you for your generous comments and thoughts in memory of my father,” Malcolm wrote.

“If he were here today he would have echoed all of the thoughts from the boys, and most certainly would have agreed about the camaraderie, friendship, and love and care you all still share for one another.

Rale Rasic Jimmy Mackay
Jimmy Mackay (L) and Rasic.

“But he can’t be here, and ever since he passed, you and the boys have always been there to support us, to keep his memory alive, and give recognition for what you all achieved together and the role he played in that.

“Through your stories you help us to remember him. We remember him as a good sportsman, a good person, someone with many friends and a great sense of fun and humour.

“Jimmy was a man who loved a beer with his friends, who cared deeply for the sport he had played and for the country he had represented.”

On Football Stories: The Heroes of 1974, Rasic and five of Mackay’s former teammates reflected on the drama of the 1974 qualification campaign.

“I recall saying before my hair was black but after that match it was white!”, Rasic quipped. 

“There is no way you can deny the goal of Mackay as the greatest in the history of Australian football.”

“For all of us it was the best goal that’s ever been,” Jimmy Rooney added. “It was top corner from 35 yards out!”