To commemorate the 10th Anniversary of the passing of former Socceroos Captain Johnny Warren, Football Federation Australia (FFA) today announced that for the upcoming round of the Hyundai A-League, clubs will remember the life and times of Johnny Warren in a number of ways, the most noteworthy being through a moment of applause at each match.
An inspirational player and former Socceroos captain, Johnny dedicated his life after his playing days to the promotion of football in Australia and around the world as a coach, media commentator and football ambassador. In recognition of his tireless efforts in promoting the game, Johnny was presented with the FIFA Centennial Order of Merit in July 2004. Sadly, Johnny passed away on the 6th November 2004 after a period of illness. In Johnny’s honour, the former National Soccer League and the Hyundai A-League Player’s Player of the Year receives a medal bearing his name.
FFA CEO David Gallop paid tribute to the legacy of Johnny Warren and his vision which continues to inspire all those associated with football in Australia today.
“Everyone in Australian football has a Johnny Warren story. That’s the beauty of Johnny’s legacy. He touched so many lives and influenced so many football people,” Gallop said.
“The late Johnny Warren has been gone for a decade but his influence has barely waned. So many people heard him, met him, followed him, believed him, and adored him.
“Fans young and old know about Johnny’s famous line “I told you so”. In my observation, it was never said from a point of superiority. It was just that Johnny was utterly convinced beyond any doubt that that game he loved, the beautiful game of football, would inevitably find its place in Australian life.
“Today we are seeing Australian football take its place in the mainstream of Australian society, a natural role for a game that reflects the nation in all its diversity.
“Wherever we look, the game is booming, just as Johnny’s sage words predicted. However, there’s much more to do. I’m reminded that even in the depths of Australia’s 32-year World Cup wilderness, Johnny would gently chide those who craved World Cup qualification.
“Why are you talking about qualification?” he would say. “We should be talking about winning the World Cup.” Johnny’s mission goes on,” concluded Gallop.
During the Adelaide United and Sydney FC match at Coopers Stadium on Friday night the moment of applause will be conducted in the 74th minute of the match in reference to his appearances for the Socceroos at the 1974 FIFA World Cup, whilst in other matches the moment of applause will be held just prior to kick-off.
In addition, Hyundai A-League clubs and FFA will be releasing video tributes to Johnny Warren which will be played in stadia, on the official Hyundai A-League website (www.a-league.com.au) and the respective Hyundai A-League club websites.
Football fans around the world are encouraged to share their Johnny Warren messages and memories on Twitter using #ITYS