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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders both past and present.

Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander viewers are warned that this website contains images of deceased persons.

The Gallery’s Acknowledgement of Country, and information on culturally sensitive and restricted content and the use of historic language in the collection can be found here.

Johnny Warren OAM MBE

2008
Natasha Gadd and Rhys Graham

single channel moving image, colour, sound, 2 minutes, 50 seconds

Johnny Warren OAM MBE (1943-2004), footballer, football administrator and commentator, grew up in southern Sydney where he played his first games of soccer, as his game was then known, for the Botany Methodists. In 1959, when he was fifteen, he made his debut with the Canterbury-Marrickville club, quickly progressing to first grade. In 1963 he began his twelve-year stint with St George Budapest, during which the team won three NSW State League grand finals, one premiership and two state cups. Meanwhile, he played 42 international matches, including the Australian World Cup appearance in 1974; he captained Australia in 24 international games. His final action as a player was to score a match-winning goal for St. George in the 1974 NSW State League Grand Final. After retiring from play, Warren helped establish the Canberra City team and coached them in 1977-1978, bringing many overseas players to train at his Gold Creek property in the 1980s and 1990s. From the 1980s onward he commented on the game on ABC and SBS television, wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald, and lobbied for Australia's separation from the Oceania Football Confederation, which he claimed retarded the development of the Socceroos. His autobiography, Sheilas, Wogs and Poofters (its title referring to Australian popular attitudes to soccer players in the postwar years) was published in 2002. A committee member of the 'Crawford Report' of 2003, investigating the governance of football in Australia, he never lost faith that Australia could field a world-class football side. Thus, his catchcry, 'I told you so', is invoked whenever Australia does well in a football game. Following his death from lung cancer, he was accorded a State funeral, from St Andrews Cathedral, Sydney.

Purchased 2011

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The National Portrait Gallery acknowledges the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognises the continuing connection to lands, waters and communities. We pay our respect to Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures and to Elders past and present. We respectfully advise that this site includes works by, images of, names of, voices of and references to deceased people.

This website comprises and contains copyrighted materials and works. Copyright in all materials and/or works comprising or contained within this website remains with the National Portrait Gallery and other copyright owners as specified.

The National Portrait Gallery respects the artistic and intellectual property rights of others. The use of images of works of art reproduced on this website and all other content may be restricted under the Australian Copyright Act 1968 (Cth). Requests for a reproduction of a work of art or other content can be made through a Reproduction request. For further information please contact NPG Copyright.

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