Johnny Warren, MBE, OAM (17 May 1943 – 6 November 2004) was an Australian football player, coach, administrator, writer and broadcaster. He spent his youth playing club football in Sydney, primarily for Canterbury-Marrickville and St George Budapest.
Johnny made his full international debut for Australia in November 1965 against Cambodia in Phnom Penh and ended up capped by his country 42 times. In 1967 Johnny captained the national team for the first time in a match against New Zealand and went on to captain Australia in 24 internationals. He was a key member of the 1974 Socceroos team, the first Australian football team to reach the World Cup Finals Tournament.
After he retired from playing football, Johnny worked in television, commentating football for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) and Special Broadcasting Service (SBS) television networks, appearing on a number of football analysis shows including On the Ball and The World Game. Johnny was known as Captain Socceroo for his passionate work to promote the game in Australia. In 2004 Johnny received the FIFA Centennial Order of Merit which was presented by FIFA President Sepp Blatter. Today, the award for the best player in the A-League is named the Johnny Warren Medal in his honour.
Johnny was seen by many as a visionary, calling for Australia to move to the Asian Football Confederation, the setup of a new league (both of which have happened) and believed in the success of the game as a whole. His words “I Told You So” have been immortalized since his passing.
1. JOHNNY WARREN FOUNDATION VISION
For Australians to embrace football as a pathway to community participation and a vehicle to engage with the world and understand the diversity and opportunities of global citizenry.
2. JOHNNY WARREN FOUNDATION PURPOSE
- To be the peak philanthropic body of football in Australia.
- To celebrate Johnny’s unique contribution and continue to promote his inspiring mission for football to be an enabler of personal growth, social equity, domestic opportunity and international understanding and engagement.
3. FOUNDATION CHARTER AND GOALS
To be a passionate:
- advocate and campaigner for Johnny Warren’s vision to enrich Australia through the global vehicle of football.
- promoter of a football culture of excellence, inclusion and unity.
- champion Australian football internationally and in particular in Asia.
- chronicler of the history of football in Australia and promoter of the heritage and legacy of all those who have contributed to the growth of the game.
- strong, independent and authorative commentator on the state of the game in Australia, encouraging greater football literacy amongst all who are drawn to the game.