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 bring into the spotlight onto the re-activation of the Hall of Fame…
In June 2002 a new Hall of Fame Committee was formed under the leadership of one-time national league referee Louis Prospero. Foundation members John O’Connell, Bob Brown and David Andrews remained on board where they were joined by Prospero, Barbara Gibson, Peter Dimopoulos, Richard Kreider, Mel Moffat and Russell Whitson.
Gibson and Dimopoulos were responsible for the foundation of women’s football in Western Australia. Kreider had at the time written two – and now three! – books detailing the history of our game. Moffat was a knowledgeable football journalist with ‘the West Australian’ newspaper and Whitson a former State League player and football history buff.
A Hall of Fame logo was developed featuring a pair of vintage football boots, an old leather football and a referees’ whistle based on a birthday card presented to O’Connell. Western Australian Premier Geoff Gallop accepted the honorary position of Patron.
The second Hall of Fame induction ceremony was a lavish event attended by Soccer Australia chairman Ian Knop in November 2002. Eleven players were welcomed into the Hall of Champions including international Arno Bertogna, Robbie Dunn, Paul Sobek and Zygmunt Pieda plus long-time State team captain Denis Barstow.
The Hall of Recognition was bolstered by fourteen inductees, including several who had done sterling work in regional areas such as Albany, Collie, Geraldton and Bunbury. Long-time administrators Lou Ricci and Ted Gray headed up the list alongside the influential Ron Tindall.
Inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame WA in 2002 were –
Hall of Champions: Denis Barstow, Arno Bertogna, Robbie Dunn, Royston Macaulay Evans, Sauro Iozzelli, Mike Ireson, Saverio Madaschi, Peter Mitchell, Zygmunt Pieda, Paul Sobek and Tony Witschge
Hall of Recognition: Henk Beumer, Dick Fearon, Doug Grant, Ted Gray, Domenic Italiano, Zyggie Kramer, Frank Miller, Aleck Peters, Lou Ricci, Sam Scuitto, Ron Tindall, John Van Hoek, Bob Watson and David Woodfin
Devised by Richard Kreider, the Hall of Fame commemorated WA’s first ever representative outing – against the touring English Cricket Team of 1902 – by hosting the inaugural Ashes football match in December 2002. On a warm afternoon at Perth Oval the visiting England Cricket Media defeated a combined Hall of Fame/WA Sporting Media outfit 2-1.
Julian Burt, whose ancestors were amongst the inaugural Hall of Recognition inductees for their role in establishing football in Western Australia, became the Hall of Fame’s third Patron by accepting the honorary position in November 2003.