2021 marks the 25th anniversary of the founding of the Football Hall of Fame Western Australia. In celebration of this milestone, we dig back into the archives to recognise the people and events that have shaped and influenced the Hall of Fame. Today we consider the period book-ended by 2004s A Century of Champions and our 10th Anniversary event of 2006…
To commemorate one hundred years of State team competition, the Hall of Fame Committee set about identifying the 100 best players to have represented Western Australia between 1902 and 2002. This proved so mammoth an undertaking that a ‘shortlist’ of nearly 300 worthy nominees were considered and assessed by the Committee.
The ‘A Century of Champions’ ceremony of July 2004 saluted over thirty Australian internationals and Olympians plus several players with international experience for England, Scotland, Wales and Poland. The quality and calibre of the 100 players selected was further highlighted by the fact many had played professionally in Australia and Europe.
Controversy came a knocking in March 2005 when the Hall of Fame amended its’ name from ‘soccer’ to ‘football’, much to the chagrin of the local ‘Aussie Rules’ body, the West Australian Football Commission. The first activity under this new moniker was to support an Indigenous football carnival at Forrest Park in July 2005.
For the third Hall of Fame induction ceremony a new category was introduced – the Hall of Legends. In October 2005 Ron Adair, John McInroy, Gary Marocchi and Robbie Dunn, each who had already been inducted into the Hall of Champions, were elevated to legendary status.
The total number of Hall of Fame inductees rose to ninety-nine. John Van Oosten, Chris Wissink and Eric Edmonds were amongst the nine Hall of Champions additions while the fourteen officials welcomed into the Hall of Recognition included John Ward, Eric Williams and Roger Lefort.
Inducted into the Football Hall of Fame WA in 2005 were –
Hall of Legends: Ron Adair, Robbie Dunn, John McInroy and Gary Marocchi
Hall of Champions: Eric Edmonds, Roy Jones, Richard Kuzimski, Gary Mateljan, Nick MacCallum, Nino Segon, John Spanos, John Van Oosten and Chris Wissink
Hall of Recognition: John Bleach, Eddie Evans, Ivan Garic, Frank Kettell, Marilyn Kettell, Marilyn Learmont, Roger Lefort, Eddie Lennie, Alex Mansfield, David Mortimer, Ron Moss, John Ward, Eric Williams and John Venn
The inaugural edition of ‘the Fame Game: the official newsletter of the Hall of Fame’ was published in October 2006. Available in print and digital formats, ‘the Fame Game’ was circulated widely and was well-received throughout the football community for the next eleven years.
The 10th Anniversary of the Hall of Fame was celebrated with a gala dinner at Dorrien Gardens in November 2006. The significant international achievements of Stan Lazaridis, Tony Franken, Alistair Edwards and Con Purser were recognised along with Western Australia’s Marah Halim Cup winning teams of 1975 and 1976.
Football Federation Australia took the opportunity to award commemorative Socceroo caps to sixteen WA-based players, including Con Purser, Ron Adair, Jimmy Pearson, Gary Marocchi, David Jones, Ray Ilott, Ken Boden, Alistair Edwards, Shaun Murphy, Scott Miller and Bobby Despotovski.