Socceroo Legend Mark Schwarzer has become the sixth recipient of the players’ highest honour today after he was awarded the PFA Alex Tobin OAM Medal at a gala luncheon at the Australian National Maritime Museum in Sydney.

In the presence of Socceroos past and present Schwarzer joined the late Johnny Warren, Joe Marston, Craig Johnston, Mark Viduka and Frank Farina as a Tobin Medalist.

Awarded to a player who has demonstrates four outstanding attributes: leadership, achievement as a player, commitment to one’s fellow professionals; and service and dedication to the game, the Socceroos record cap holder said it was honour to receive the players’ highest award.

“It is a great honour and a surprise, I feel extremely privileged to have joined some of the truly outstanding players,” Schwarzer said.

“This award means so much because it is from the players. When you play with the Socceroos for as long as I have you form such close bonds so it is very humbling.

“When you are young you think your career is going to last forever but it goes so quick and when you have a chance like today to look back over it you realise just how quickly it all goes.

“To look back now I feel extremely proud of the progress Australian football has made, we have defied the odds and that is my message for the current Socceroos, keep proving people wrong.”

PFA President Simon Colosimo said it was fitting that Schwarzer would now take his place alongside the likes of Marston and Viduka as a Tobin Medalist.

“Mark will forever be remembered as one of the greatest Socceroos in history and was the unanimous choice of the players as the sixth recipient,” Colosimo said.

“On countless occasions he has demonstrated that he is a world class goalkeeper and none more so than in 2005 in the penalty shoot-out against Uruguay, which sealed the Socceroos place in the 2006 World Cup.

“Whilst the image of Mark celebrating after saving two penalties is one of the most iconic in Australian football his contribution went far beyond that moment.

“In wholeheartedly committing himself to his sport Mark showed every young Australian footballer that it is possible to reach the very top of the game if you work tirelessly.”

As well as honouring Schwarzer the 2014 PFA Alex Tobin Medal Awards also saw the endeavors of current and former players off the pitch recognised.

Terry McFlynn and Zac Anderson were awarded the KimonTalidoros scholarships after demonstrating excellence off the field through education. In November McFlynn will graduate from Sydney University with a Masters in Coach Education, whilst Anderson has almost completed his first year of a Law Degree.

The Craig Foster Media Scholarship.which is awarded to a player who aims to pursue a career in football commentary and analysis was won by former Melbourne Victory star Grant Brebner. The former Scotland Youth International is fast making a name for himself with his insightful pre and post match analysis and has become regular on Fox Sports.

Western Sydney Wanderers midfielder Shannon Cole was awarded the inaugural PFA Devlopment Scholarship, proudly supported by NSR. Awarded to a player who has shown a commitment to professional development off the pitch Cole won the award after publishing his first novel “Secrets of Varilien: Above the Below”

Each scholarship winner was awarded $5,000.

After playing a pivotal role in the establishment of players’ associations in both Malaysia and Indonesia Robbie Gaspar’s outstanding contribution to his fellow professionals was also honoured. The Western Australian joined the likes of John Aloisi and David Zdrillic becoming a PFA Life Member.

2014 PFA Alex Tobin Medal OAM Medal Winners:

Alex Tobin OAM Medal: Mark Schwarzer

KimonTalidoros Scholarships: Terry McFlynn and Zac Anderson

Craig Foster Media Scholarship: Grant Brebner

PFA Player Development Scholarship, proudly supported by NSR: Shannon Cole

Life Membership: Robbie Gaspar