A-League to commemorate the late, great Johnny Warren

The 10th anniversary since the passing of former Socceroos captain and legendary football campaigner Johnny Warren will be marked by A-League clubs this weekend.

A moment of applause at each match will be one of the features of the round dedicated to the life and times of the world game’s heroic advocate.

Warren dedicated his post-playing career to the promotion of football in Australia and around the world as a coach, media commentator and football ambassador.

He passed away on November 6, 2004 after a period of illness.

Football Federation Australia boss David Gallop paid tribute to the legacy of Warren and his vision which continues to inspire all those associated with the game in Australia today.

“Everyone in Australian football has a Johnny Warren story,” Gallop said. “That’s the beauty of Johnny’s legacy. He touched so many lives and influenced so many football people.

“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.”

During Adelaide United’s Friday night clash with Sydney FC at Coopers Stadium, a moment of applause will be conducted in the 74th minute in reference to Warren’s appearances for the Socceroos at the 1974 FIFA World Cup.

At other matches the moment of applause will be held just prior to kick-off.

Football fans around the world are encouraged to share their Johnny Warren messages and memories on twitter using #ITYS.

In addition, A-League clubs and FFA will be releasing video tributes which will be played in stadia, on the official Hyundai A-League website and the respective club websites.

Gallop added: “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 the 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.”

In recognition of Warren’s tireless efforts, he was presented with the FIFA Centennial Order of Merit in July 2004.

The former National Soccer League and the A-League Player’s Player of the Year receives a medal bearing his name.