Johnny Warren and Joe Marston © Johnny Warren Estate

Two icons of Australian football, the late Johnny Warren and Joe Marston, were today honoured by today’s generation of professional footballers by being announced the inaugural PFA Alex Tobin Medalists at an awards ceremony in Sydney.

The PFA Tobin Medal has been established by the Australian Professional Footballers’ Association (PFA) in honour of former Socceroos captain and long serving PFA President, Alex Tobin OAM. Tobin is also the most capped Socceroo (113 appearances, including 87 “A” internationals) and has played more national league games than any other player (522).

The PFA Tobin Medal will be awarded annually by the PFA Executive to a current or former player based on 4 attributes demonstrated by Tobin throughout his career and which encapsulate the philosophy of the PFA: (1) leadership; (2) achievement as a player; (3) commitment to one’s fellow professionals; and (4) service and dedication to the game.

“It is only right that the PFA today recognises Johnny and Joe, who achieved so much in very trying times to create the opportunities for current and future generations of professional footballers,” PFA Chief Executive Brendan Schwab said today.

“Johnny Warren was without question one of Australia’s greatest ever players. But more than that, he was a warrior for football on all fronts. His public fight for football and its people was instrumental in bringing the off field revolution of 2003, the springboard to today’s professionalism.”

“Joe Marston of course pioneered the international career path for Australians, becoming one of the English First Division’s best players in the 1950’s with Preston North End, then a goliath of the game. Hundreds of Australians have since followed his footsteps, but very few with the same success.”

Johnny Warren was represented at today’s ceremony by his daughter Shannon, son in law Sean, brother Geoff and nephew Jamie, who also sits as a Director of the Johnny Warren Football Foundation.

“Uncle John received many accolades throughout his life for his contribution to football”, Jamie said today. “But being a football man, he was a players’ man, and the family is deeply honoured for his life and work to be honoured by today’s professional footballers. He would consider this his most important award.”

Joe Marston attended today’s ceremony with his wife Edith, who joined Joe on his English adventure over 50 years ago.

“It is a great honour to be recognised by today’s players. The development of the game is something we all spoke about when I played, and it is so important that Australians can become the best players they can be both at home and abroad. The work of many including Alex and the PFA has helped make all this possible,” Joe said.


For more information: Shannon Beck, PFA                0408 132 790

Note: Alex Tobin, Brendan Schwab, Jamie Warren and Joe Marston will be available for interview at 6.30pm at The Pavilion, Darling Park, 201 Sussex Street, Sydney.