November 8, 2004 by

Johnny Warren


Categories: Media, Sports

jwarren.jpgAustralian soccer legend Johnny Warren died on Nov. 6 of lung cancer. He was 61.
Born in the Sydney suburb of Botany, Warren studied economics at the University of New South Wales. From 1966 to 1974, he played for the Socceroos in 42 competitions and was captain in 1974 when the team made its only appearance in the World Cup finals.
After his professional playing career ended, Warren coached St. George and Canberra City in the National Soccer League, and became a popular television commentator on the Special Broadcasting Service network. Opposite sportscaster Les Murray, Warren offered forthright opinions and analysis of the game for nearly two decades. His passion for soccer was appreciable, but the world saw proof of it in 1997 when he cried on national television during the World Cup play-off match between Australia and Iran.
The unofficial ambassador of Australian soccer, Warren helped form the A-League (which will debut next year), and oversaw the launch of the Johnny Warren Soccer Academy, an elite soccer institute designed to help young players develop their skills. In 2002, he chronicled his affiliation with Australian soccer in the bestselling memoir “Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters.” Earlier this year, Warren and Murray were the subject of the book “Mr. and Mrs. Soccer” by Andy Harper.
Warren was the first Australian soccer player made a Member (of the Order of the) British Empire. In addition, he received a Medal of the Order of Australia and the Federation Internationale de Football Association’s Centennial Order of Merit. In 1988, he was inducted into the Australian Sports Hall of Fame.

21 Responses to Johnny Warren

  1. amutha

    Johnny warren was a legend. Loved watching him and listening to him on SBS. Great soccer player and just a good if not better commentator.
    His analysis of the 2002 world cup was excellent.
    we will all miss him.
    god bless his soul

  2. james tindall

    I’m truly sorry to hear of him passing and hope for all the best after death. He was my idol soccer player and inspired me to become a soccer player and now thanks to him i play division 1 soccer for a club in the A.C.T

  3. A-League

    It’s been a year now and his hard work over his lifetime is really start to pay off now. Let’s hope we qualify against Uruguay. It would cap off a tremendous turn around for Australian football.
    Support The A-League

  4. tom barber

    i saw the montage last night on sbs, that man was an inspiration and i hope he is never forgotten. only wish he got to see his dreams become reality

  5. Jimmy Cinar

    johnny a year has gone by since your passing, but not a day goes by where australia doesnt think of you. now we are in the world cup, because you told us so… thank you johnny

  6. John

    Found this off a football forum:
    They showed it on the screens at Telstra Stadium before last Wednesday night’s WCQ and it had me on the verge of tears. In fact the last time I ever cried was when I was watching his funeral just over a year ago.
    A quality tribute to a great great man. Big Johnny will be looking down from the footballing heavens, saying “I told you so” to anyone who doubted and rubbished football in this country.
    “I want Australia to embrace this fabulous game. It isn’t ‘wog ball’. This is the game of the world.”

  7. Magid

    On Wednesday 16th, Australian followers from every code all watched and united for one cause and that was making the World Cup to show the world the talents of this great nation.
    Johnny, your dream will never die. You fought long and hard and supported this beautiful game for a long time and now this sport “Football NOT Soccer” will truly be recognised as the World game! WOG (World’s Only Game!)Ball
    Football is the game played in heaven, so johnny be sure to have a game with my dad whose remembrance day was on this great day Wednesday 16th.
    Support this geat game for its trials and tribulations!
    Germany 2006 will definitely showcase Australian football to the world. Good luck Roos!!
    A-league rock on!

  8. jimmy cinar

    johnny i imagined you would be watching last nights game against japan on that big screen tv in the sky, and with every goal that we rifled in, be saying i told you so. that win was for you mate…

  9. jared

    unfortunately, it was the death of a great man, he did tell us so, and now we embrace his vision and warming ideas to the prospect of proffesional football in this country, because it is the world game, and we are part of the world, and we have embraced its warming glow and unity of football, soccer, its the same thing, and it unites countries who war, who use espionage against each other, and just plain enemies.
    thankyou johhny for showing australia what we are completly capable of
    australia just beat japan 3-1 in our opening game of the world cup…”i told you so”

  10. Bee

    Johnny, thanks for bringing the game to Australia. I didn’t know about you until i was curious about “i told you so” written on sbs and started searching for it.
    Make football shine in Australia.

  11. raf

    johnny warren we will never forget you and when australia win the world cup one day im sure you will be watching the big screen up in heaven saying “i told you so”
    thankyou johnny warren

  12. John Warren

    so sad that the player with my name has passed away. i’m searching for a good picture of him in the web while he’s playing football but i can’t find one.can you help me?

  13. jimmy cinar

    just read sheilas, wogs and poofters over again… johnny you are and always will be a legend in this country… you will never walk alone

  14. Peter

    After watching the program on SBS Sunday 6 January 2008, maybe somemore could have been said about not smoking!!! Lessons are known by ones mistakes, he could have been just as popular without the smoking yet nothing is said……nothing was learnt really except smoking kills.

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