One of the best and most important nights in the history of Australian sport - the Socceroos v Uruguay World Cup play-off - was celebrated on Monday night at a gala event at ANZ Stadium.
In front of 700 guests that included former players, coaches and even a former Prime Minister the coach from that night - Guus Hiddink – along with 15 players from his squad walked out onto a gold carpet and on to a specially constructed stage.
One by one the Socceroos were introduced by former Chanel Seven News presenter Chris Bath on the same Stadium Australia pitch where the Socceroos played that memorable game a decade earlier.
The Socceroos in attendance included John Aloisi - who's winning penalty to sent Australia to the 2006 World Cup. Mark Bresciano - who scored the goal that tied up two legged score-line. Tony Vidmar - who played his last game for the Socceroos after a heart problem forced him out playing in Germany, as well as fellow Socceroos starters from that game including Scott Chipperfield, Vince Grella, Brett Emerton and Tony Popovic.
After some fireworks, Uruguayan candombe and dancers entertained the crowd as the players moved upstairs for dinner.
Adam Spencer, who was the ground announcer at the game 10 years ago, hosted proceedings during dinner. He introduced to the stage the captain of the 1965 pioneering Australian team Les Scheinflug, who played in Australia's first ever World Cup qualification campaign. 14 of the original 20-man squad were also in attendance.
A video entitled "This is our story" showed highlights from the game as well as interviews with players and coaches from the match.
Aloisi, Grella, Bresciano and Emerton then made their way onto the stage for a Q&A session with Fox Sports presenter Adam Peacock to look back on the main moments from that night.
Hiddink also came on stage and was interviewed. ‘Aussie Guus’ spoke about Frank Lowy's persistence in hiring him for the Socceroos job.
During the interview Hiddink also looked back on the time he first met the Socceroos and remarked on how the team turned up dressed like a "bunch of Gypsies", and how during his first ever Socceroos training session Popovic and Grella constantly fought with each other.
When asked why he left Harry Kewell on the bench for the game, Hiddink explained that it was so the star Socceroo could be as fit as he could be "to give the final punch" to Uruguay.
He also joked that Tony Popovic was still angry with him for replacing him with Kewell early in the first-half of that match.
FFA CEO David Gallop introduced former Australian Prime Minister John Howard onto the stage, who delivered a speech about the work that Lowy did for football in Australia during the 12 years he was Chairman of the FFA.
Gallop also made a special presentation to outgoing FFA Chairman Mr. Lowy as well as FFA Board Members Brian Schwartz and Phill Wolanski.
Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull did not attend but did make speech that also highlighted the work that Frank Lowy did during his reign at the FFA.
The outgoing FFA Chairman, Lowy, closed the evening by making a speech about his time at the FFA. He thanked players, coaches and administrators.
"Tomorrow the music stops for me. Will I miss this job? Yes. Do I feel proud? Absolutely."
“Let’s celebrate the past and lets embrace the future."comments