Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters
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A Fascinating account of a great sporting life and an insider's look at the byzantine world of soccer politics. The essential Australian story of the World Game - Bob Carr
Johnny Warren received an MBE (1973), ASM (2000) Centenary Medal (2001), OAM (2003) and the FIFA Order of Merit (2004)
Johnny Warren is a credit to Australia and the game that he loves. His is a great story which I heartily recommend to all sports fans - Martin Tyler
From a nine-year-old who was initially rejected by his local under-12's team because he was "too small and needed to go home and eat more porridge" to leading the Socceroos from 1964 to 1974 through three World Cup campaigns as captain and vice-captain, Johnny Warren witnessed every stage of Australia's soccer journey for over fifty years.
From the days you were called a "sheila", "wog" or "poofter" if you played soccer to today when players such as Harry Kewell are celebrated as our brightest sporting stars and prized by overseas clubs; from the curse placed on the Socceroos in 1969 by an African witch doctor through to more than thirty agonising years of trying to qualify for soccer's Holy Grail, the World Cup, Johnny Warren revealed the highs and lows of Australian soccer's past and present, and how its future success can be achieved.
Including all the action from the 2002 World Cup - the Cup that caught the hearts and imaginations of Australians everywhere. In February 2003, then-NSW Premier Bob Carr set up a $1.5 million soccer training academy named the "Johnny Warren Soccer Academy" to develop players and increase Australia's chances of securing the 2014 World Cup.
for personal reasons, and his decision effectively handed Germany the victory. The result of Dempsey’s decision caused great controversy. South Africa had been popular favourites to win the ballot, primarily because of the belief that the finals should be rotated around the confederations. Awarding the tournament to an African host would perhaps have signalled a new era for FIFA as Africa was yet to host the tournament. Supporters of rotation had tipped their weight behind the African bid also.
that I realised how the team had been blindly steered into helping the war effort. The French were the colonial rulers of Vietnam up until the Second World War. During the war the Japanese invaded but Vietnamese leader Ho Chi Minh declared the country to be independent at the end of the war. Vietnamese communist insurgents famously defeated the French army, who had been fighting to resume their colonisation of Vietnam for ten years, at the battle of Dien Bien Phu in 1954. The victory resulted in
local club; it simply wasn’t done because St George was one of the biggest names in Australian soccer boasting up to half of the national squad. So Rale’s decision to leave for Marconi had sent shock-waves through the club. The players were more surprised than anything because we had enjoyed such a successful season and many players on the team were part of Rale’s Australian squad. The immediate result of Rale’s departure was to create a new rivalry between St George and Marconi. The rivalry was
practical jokes carried out on our tours, on the receiving end of just as many as he masterminded himself. When Peter stood up he was visibly shaken with the emotion of it all. I obviously can’t do the speech justice but Peter told everyone on the team that we were like his sons. He had lived with us, travelled the world with us, and seen all the hard work we had put in and admired us greatly for it. ‘I’m not born in Australia,’ he said, ‘but I know you guys are doing the wrong thing. You are
thinking of the match as a sporting event they viewed it as a night of entertainment and this meant putting in place a whole program of events, apart from the match itself, to entertain the crowd. The main aspect of this program was a spectacular fireworks display that was scheduled to go off about half an hour before the game. Fireworks have become stock standard at sporting events these days, but back then it was an amazing innovation. When the lights at the ground were switched off so the