Our Story

Beginnings, Celebrations and Aims…….

Western Australia has the distinction of being the first State in Australia to officially recognise and honour its football heroes of the past through a Hall of Fame. The seeds for what would evolve into the Football Hall of Fame Western Australia were sown in 1995 as the State prepared to celebrate a century of the sport the following year.

1996 Centenary Of Soccer In WA logo

Former State captain John O’Connell put forward a proposal to establish a ‘Hall of Fame’ to the Soccer Administration of WA. The then governing body, under the presidency of Mr Lou Ricci, liked what they heard and entrusted John O’Connell to head a sub-committee tasked with developing an autonomous body which would protect WA’s football history.

1996 Football Hall of Fame WA Committee

Identities from the football community who had the background, reputation and experience to inspire confidence in a fair and balanced approach were recruited for the Hall of Fame Centenary Committee. Joining John O’Connell on this historic venture were Alan Beale, Julius Re, Bob Brown, David Andrews and Frank Miller.

The Committee brought together considerable knowledge and expertise. John O’Connell was the joint record holder of State team appearances, a coach and broadcaster. Alan Beale was a terrific goal-scorer in his playing days at club and State levels and later a much-respected administrator who lobbied for football regionalisation.

Visionary Julius Re introduced semi-professional football to WA and was the founding president of the Soccer Federation of WA. Bob Brown had been a player and State team manager in addition to being a generous sponsor of the game. David Andrews was a popular journalist with ‘the West Australian’ newspaper. Frank Miller was also a journalist, broadcaster and State team selector.

This six-man Committee created Australian sporting history as the nation’s first football Hall of Fame. In fact, they preceded Soccer Australia’s Hall of Fame which wasn’t set up until 1999. And in the years that followed other sports would follow suit, including both State and national ‘Aussie Rules’ codes.

The Committee decreed that the philosophy behind the Hall of Fame would be to discover, highlight and honour through a series of induction ceremonies the very best talent that has graced football in WA since the first official game between Perth and Civil Service on a blustery morning in 1896.

To achieve this, guidelines were established to formalise a system that would be reflective of all facets of the code. The criteria for entry into the Hall of Champions – which recognises the elite players – was based on points gained for national and State representative honours, trophies won and seasons played in the top flight and the like.

From the start it was acknowledged that the game is made up of more than just players. There are many who contribute significantly off the field such as referees, coaches, administrators, journalists and sponsors who were considered worthy of recognition. And so was born the Hall of Recognition.

The first Hall of Fame induction ceremony was a black-tie event in November 1996 at the Novotel Langley. Sir Francis Burt, who served Western Australia in the capacity of Chief Justice and Governor and whose ancestors were among football’s founding fathers a century earlier, was named Patron.

Sandra Brentnall, Ron Adair and Alan Beale

The inaugural inductees were champions from the code’s foundation and through the 20th century. Amongst the twenty-nine players that entered the Hall of Champions were former Australia captains Ron Adair and Gary Marocchi, five-time Gold Medal winner Theo Paap and star of the women’s game Sandra Brentnall.

Other iconic players recognised included stars of ‘between the wars’ era football Alex Marr, Jack Conduit and Jimmy Gordon, Spearwood Rovers goal ace Alan Beale, the remarkable John McInroy and dual Marah Halim Cup winning captain David O’Callaghan.

Seventeen individuals were inducted into the Hall of Recognition, amongst them respected referees Barry Harwood and Roy Stedman, super coach Alan Vest and iconic player-referee-trainer Bob McShane and leading administrator Julius Re.

A special place was reserved for the Burt family who, above all others, were responsible for inspiring and establishing football in WA. Sir Septimus Burt, the State’s first Attorney General, and five of his six sons cajoled and persuaded the game’s official birth in May of 1896, serving on the first committee and adding their enthusiasm on the playing field.

Inducted into the Soccer Hall of Fame WA in 1996 were –

Hall of Champions: Ron Adair, Alan Beale, Sandra Brentnall, Robert Cherry, Jack Conduit, John Davidson, Len Dundo, James Gordon, John Henderson, Peter Holt, Ray Ilott, Stewart Johnson, David Jones, Don McArdle, John McInroy, Frank McShane, Gary Marocchi, Alex Marr, Sharon Mateljan, Hugh Miller, David O’Callaghan, John O’Connell, Graham Oughton, Theo Paap, Con Purser, Stephen Sceats, Anna Senjuschenko, Jack Smethurst and William Waddell

Hall of Recognition: The Burt Family, Harry Croft, Peter Dimopoulos, Tom D’Orsogna, Claude Eayrs, Barbara Gibson, Barry Harwood, Dr Oscar Mate, Bob McShane, Mick Mateljan, Fred Newton, Ron Oswald, Stan Power, Julius Re, Barbara Rogoysky, Roy Stedman and Alan Vest

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 Louis Prospero, Barbara Gibson, Peter Dimopoulos, Richard Kreider, Mel Moffat and Russell Whitson.

Barbara Gibson and Peter Dimopoulos were responsible for the foundation of women’s football in Western Australia. Richard Kreider had at the time written two – and now three! – books detailing the history of our game. Mel Moffat was a knowledgeable football journalist with ‘the West Australian’ newspaper and Russell 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

Football Hall of Fame WA logo

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.

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.

2004 Football Hall of Fame WA Committee

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.

Western Australia's Socceroos

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.

It has long been the Hall of Fames’ ambition to establish a permanent museum to showcase the history of the game in Western Australia. In December 2006, a delegation led by chairman Louis Prospero stated their case to representatives of the State Government, and although a museum did not eventuate it nonetheless remains an objective of the Committee to this day.

Louis Prospero

That same month the second Ashes football match was held at Perth Oval. Boasting the considerable talents of Jonathon Cook, Julian Burt and Ashley Morrison, amongst others, the Hall of Fame/WA Sporting Media combination triumphed 6-4 over the England Cricket Media.

In October 2007, the Hall of Fame celebrated the 40th anniversary of the State teams’ appearance at Malaysia’s Merdeka Cup and the 30th anniversary of the State women’s tour of Asia. The 1967 men’s team was the first Australian representative team to compete in an Asian tournament, and the 1977 women’s team was the first Australian women’s representative side to tour Asia.

The 60th anniversary of WA’s historic win at the 1948 Southern States Carnival was commemorated as part of the fourth Hall of Fame induction ceremony in July 2008. A special presentation was made to Bob Cherry, one of the last surviving players from the successful 1948 State team.

When it came to the inductees, eleven players were welcomed into the Hall of Champions. This list included Socceroos Alistair Edwards and Shaun Murphy, long-time Matildas goalkeeper Tracey Wheeler, inaugural Perth Glory captain Gareth Naven and two-time Gold Medal winner Norrie Sutton.

The occasion saw the introduction of a new category – the Hall of Merit for Players, which recognises the achievements of special players who enjoyed considerable success and made an outstanding contribution to the game in WA. The seven inaugural entrants included Harry Boys, Alex Senjuschenko and Rene De Koning.

The Hall of Recognition was expanded by eleven coaches, administrators and media personalities, amongst them coaches Peter Rickers and Graham Normanton, pioneer administrator Alex McDowell and journalist David Andrews. By the end of the night the Hall of Fame boasted 127 inductees.

Inducted into the Football Hall of Fame WA in 2008 were –

Hall of Champions: Ronnie Campbell, Luciana Di Ienno (nee Colangelo), Alistair Edwards, Tommy Maras, Shaun Murphy, Craig Naven, Gareth Naven, Norrie Sutton, Tracey Wheeler, Teresa White (nee Kozak), Robert Zabica

Hall of Merit for Players: Harry Boys, Geoff Cole, Rene de Koning, David Kamasz, Frank Reid, Dave Roxby and Alex Senjuschenko

Hall of Recognition: David Andrews, Malcolm Brown, Stuart Kamasz, Roger Males, Alex McDowall, Graham Normanton, Rita Richardson, Peter Rickers, Alan Robertson, David Schrandt and Eric Thomas

By now there was a distinct all-star flavour to the Hall of Fame Committee which boasted Louis Prospero, John O’Connell, Bob Brown, Barbara Gibson, Peter Dimopoulos, Richard Kreider and Mel Moffat. Complimenting this core group across the preceding five years were Roger Dale and Craig Hollingsworth.

To coincide with the 2010 World Cup Finals, the Hall of Fame hosted a week-long exhibition under the World Cup Wonders banner at the Perth Town Hall. In December of that year the England Cricket Media triumphed 4-2 over the Hall of Fame/WA Sporting Media combination in the third Ashes football match at Perth Oval.

2012 Football Hall of Fame WA Committee

The fifth Hall of Fame induction ceremony truly was a night to remember for Sandra Brentnall, who became the first female footballer in the world to enter a Hall of Legends when she was elevated from the Hall of Champions. Goalkeeping great Robbie Zabica was also bestowed with legendary status at the May 2012 event.

Nine players were welcomed into the Hall of Champions, amongst them international stars Julie Gorton (nee Clayton), Judy Pettitt, Tony Franken, Stan Lazaridis, Scott Miller and Bobby Despotovski. A posthumous induction was made for Wally Gardiner, one of the finest pre-World War I footballers to grace the fields of WA.

The Hall of Merit for Players was boosted by fourteen which included two-time league Fairest and Best winner Peter Atkinson and Australia youth internationals Steve Martin, Frank Farone and Paul Tombides. Nine referees, coaches, administrators and medics were honoured through the Hall of Recognition.

Inducted into the Football Hall of Fame WA in 2012 were –

Hall of Legends: Sandra Brentnall and Robert Zabica

Hall of Champions: Bobby Despotovski, Tony Franken, Wally Gardiner, Julie Gorton (nee Clayton), Stan Lazaridis, Willie McNally, Scott Miller, Judy Pettitt and Allan Pottier
Hall of Merit for Players: Peter Atkinson, Troy Bernard, Alf De Bono, Edmundo Faletti, Frank Faraone, Glenn Giudici, Ernie Hannigan, Steve Martin, Peter Murphy, Brian Newell, Mike Smith, Steve Stacey, Paul Tombides and Steve Tombides

Hall of Recognition: John Birighitti, Giuliano Cantoni, Peter Faulks, Dr Ken Fitch, Andy Gorton, Dr Ken Maguire, Jimmy Mayers, Frank Moretti and Doug Stewart

The England Cricket Media levelled the Ashes football series by claiming a thrilling 3-2 win over the Hall of Fame/WA Sporting Media combination at Dorrien Gardens in December 2013.

Robbie Dunn and Michael Vaughan

In June 2014, the Hall of Fame produced a booklet celebrating the 20th Anniversary of Perth Kangaroos’ S-League adventure. A similar booklet – Class of ’75 – was published twelve months later to mark the State teams’ success at the 1975 Marah Halim Cup and victories over Glasgow Rangers and the Australia ‘B’ side.

The Hall of Fame created history themselves with the September 2014 launch of footballhalloffamewa.com.au, the first website of its kind in Australia, and quite possibly the world.

The retirement of long-serving Committee members Bob Brown, Peter Dimopoulos and Barbara Gibson had the Hall of Fame begin 2015 with a new-look. The Committee now featured Louis Prospero, John O’Connell, Mel Moffat, Richard Kreider, Roger Males, Barry Rogers, David Mortimer and Sandra Brentnall.

The Hall of Fame embarked on a new level of engagement with the football community in August 2016 with the launch of our Facebook account. That move into the social media arena came only a few months after the final edition of the ever-popular ‘the Fame Game’ newsletter rolled off the presses.

A record of over 430 attendees were attracted to the sixth Hall of Fame induction ceremony in November 2016. The Committee pulled out all the stops for what was also the Hall of Fame’s 20th Anniversary by bringing in guest speakers Bernd Stange, from Germany, and Les Murray, from Sydney.

Alan Vest was elevated to the Hall of Legends, making him the first coach to be proclaimed a Legend. The Hall of Champions welcomed eight newcomers with Socceroos defender Chris Coyne, Perth Glory stalwart Jamie Harnwell and goalkeeping brothers in arms Jason and Michael Petkovic amongst that number.

The thirteen added to the Hall of Merit for Players included defensive pair Aldo Trinca and Alan Armstrong plus two-time Golden Boot recipients John Hunter and Keven Elliott. Mickey Brennan, Steve Muldoon, Angelo Nardi, Bob Brown and Janette Spencer were amongst ten individuals welcomed into the Hall of Recognition.

Inducted into the Football Hall of Fame WA in 2016 were –

Hall of Legends: Alan Vest

Hall of Champions: Anthony Carbone, Chris Coyne, Jamie Harnwell, Paul McVittie, Jason Petkovic, Michael Petkovic, Andy Petterson and Paul Strudwick

Hall of Merit for Players: Alan Armstrong, Steve Bourne, Tommy Carruthers, Alex Cummings, Keven Elliott, John Hunter, Peter Johnson, Willie Kelly, Robert Lee, Bruno Marocchi, Michele Matthews, Dylan Tombides and Aldo Trinca

Hall of Recognition: Mickey Brennan, Bob Brown, John Davies, Debbie Farrell, Steve Hawkins, Helen Lumley, Steve Muldoon, Angelo Nardi, Janette Spencer and Mike Tetlow

2016 Football Hall of Fame WA Committee

The Hall of Fame celebrated its 21st birthday with a low-key event at Dorrien Gardens in December 2017. A trio of milestone State team events were also recognised, namely the 1967 friendly with Manchester United, the ground breaking 1967 tour of Asia and 1996’s international against Indonesia.

The fifth Ashes football match took place earlier that same day with the England Media out-shooting the Hall of Fame/WA Sporting Media combination 3-2 from the penalty spot, after the game was tied at 3-3 at the end of regulation time. The win gives England a 3-2 upper hand over the Auld Enemy.

The Hall of Fame entered a new era in November 2019 by becoming an Incorporated body. Along with the registration of a Constitution that outlines the rules and regulations of the association, a new logo featuring a black swan, an old football and a laurel wreath was adopted.

A low-key launch event was held at Dorrien Gardens which included presentations to a trio of record-setters. Special Merit Awards were presented to former Australian team captain Ron Adair, five-time Gold Medal winner Theo Paap and WA’s first World Cup Finals referee Eddie Lennie.

Elizabeth Re, the daughter of foundation Committee member Julius Re, was voted President of the Executive Committee in August 2020, replacing Louis Prospero after 18 years in the role. The Committee has since grown and at the current time features Elizabeth Re, Penelope Hoath, Paul McVittie, Vince Matassa, Alf De Bono and Brett Klucznik.

2019 Football Hall of Fame WA Committee

Referee Simon Hicks follows in the footsteps of Russell Goodrick, Peter Hugg and Eddie Lennie as the Committees’ non-voting Football West representative. Between 2016 and 2020 Tom MacKay, George Papaliaris, Roger Males, John O’Connell, Jack Garber, Keith Brier, Mel Moffat, Louis Propero, Alex Vagliviello and Richard Kreider each served on the Committee.

Tommy Carruthers, Les Murray and Julian Burt

The Hall of Fame Patron is Julian Burt, who accepted the honorary position in November 2003. Julian Burt’s enthusiasm and dedication to the objectives of the organisation is much valued, and also continues the link to the game’s founding fathers, his ancestors the Burt family.

Across its’ 25 years the Hall of Fame has honoured 186 players, referees, coaches, administrators, journalists, sponsors and medics, a number that is far in excess of any other Hall of Fame in Australia. And it is still growing!

Timeline of Events

1996 Soccer Centenary Year Hall of Fame formed

1996 November – Inaugural induction ceremony

  • 29 added to the Hall of Champions
  • 17 added to the Hall of Recognition

2002 June – reformed as Soccer Hall of Fame WA

2002 November – Second Induction ceremony

  • 11 added to the Hall of Champions
  • 14 added to the Hall of Recognition

2002 December – WA Media vs England Media Ashes football game

2004 July – A Century of Champions event

2005 March – changed name to Football Hall of Fame WA

2005 July – supported an Indigenous Carnival in Perth

2005 October – Third Induction ceremony

  • 4 added to Hall of Legends
  • 9 added to Hall of Champions
  • 14 added to Hall of Recognition

2006 October – First edition of The Fame Game published

2006 November – Football Hall of Fame 10th Anniversary event

  • international achievements of Stan Lazaridis, Tony Franken, Alistair Edwards and Con Purser were recognised
  • Marah Halim Cup winning State teams of 1975 and 1976 were recognised
  • Football Federation Australia awarded commemorative Socceroo caps to sixteen players who’ve represented Australia at senior international level

2006 December – WA Media vs England Media Ashes football game

2007 October – Merdeka Cup 40th Anniversary / State Women’s Team Tour of Asia 30th Anniversary event

2008 July – Fourth Induction ceremony

  • 11 added to Hall of Champions
  • 7 added to Hall of Merit for Players
  • 11 added to Hall of Recognition
  • 60th anniversary of WA’s historic win at the 1948 Southern States Carnival

2010 May – World Cup Wonders event

2010 December – WA Media vs England Media Ashes football game

2012 May – Fifth Induction ceremony

  • 2 added to Hall of Legends
  • 14 added to Hall of Merit for Players
  • 9 added to Hall of Recognition

2013 December – WA Media vs England Media Ashes football game

2014 June – Perth Kangaroos 20th Anniversary event

2014 September – footballhalloffamewa.com.au established

2016 August – Football Hall of Fame WA Facebook account established

2016 November – Sixth Induction ceremony; Football Hall of Fame 20th Anniversary

  • 1 added to Hall of Legends
  • 8 added to Hall of Champions
  • 13 added to Hall of Merit for Players
  • 10 added to Hall of Recognition

2017 December – 21st Birthday Celebration event

  • 50th anniversary of the State teams’ first meeting with Manchester United
  • 50th anniversary of the State teams’ grounding breaking tour of Asia
  • 21st anniversary of the State teams’ international against Indonesia

2017 December – WA Media vs England Media Ashes football game

2019 November – Celebrating a New Look event

  • New Logo unveiled
  • Launch of the Association
  • Presentations to record-setting trio Ron Adair, Theo Paap and Eddie Lennie
Football Hall Of Fame WA Logo