JOHN O’Connell, the voice of WA football for many decades and a State team record-holder as a player, has been made a Life Member of the State’s ruling body Football West.
“It’s a wonderful honour,” said O’Connell, who made a record 41 appearances for the State team during the late 1960s and 1970s and was captain on seven occasions. He was a key member of the side that won the Marah Halam Cup in 1976.
In his 14-year career as a player, he turned out for the likes of Swan Valley, Morley Windmills and East Fremantle Tricolore.
He won four D’Orsogna Cups with Tricolore and later went on to coach the team.
In the 1990s he became a board member of the State ruling body, the Soccer Administration of WA. He was the driving force behind the establishment of the Hall of Fame in WA, which was set up to celebrate the 100th birthday of the game in this State in 1996. It was the first football Hall of Fame to be established in Australia.
He is still a prominent member of the Committee of the Hall of Fame WA and continues to coach juniors.
O’Connell’s voice became well known to many thousands of radio listeners during his long stint as a football broadcaster with Radio 6NR, and then with Information Radio 990.
“I feel that being made a Life Member isn’t just for me,” he said. “It’s a Life Membership, too, for all the players, coaches and many others who have supported me down the years. They’ve been terrific.”
O’Connell has also reported on the highs and lows of Perth Glory through the years – and also taken particular interest when the Australian international team has come to Perth.
“It’s great to see Perth back on the national team’s radar and I’m looking forward to the visit of the Socceroos to play Bangladesh in a World Cup qualifier on September 3,” he said.
O’Connell caught up with Socceroos coach Ange Postecoglou when he was in Perth for the announcement of the World Cup tie – an occasion that also gave the Football Federation Australia the opportunity to put the Asian Cup on display.
“I’ve known Ange for quite a while and he’s a great bloke,” said O’Connell.
“He was very impressed with nib stadium and he’s looking forward to the game here.”
Pictured: Ange Postecoglou (left) and John O’Connell pose with the Asian Cup