Professional Footballers Australia (PFA) has today remembered the passing of the great Johnny Warren 11 years ago today.

PFA Chief Executive Adam Vivian said that Warren was not only a hero of Australian football, but that he shone a light on the path to create a bright future for football in this country.

“We all have to pause today and thank Johnny Warren for all that he did, all that he fought for and all that he dreamed of,” said Vivian.

“As we remember Johnny Warren, we as a football community remember who we are, where we have come from and where we are going.

“We have grown so much since Johnny’s sad passing. We have created a generation of players with professional careers in Australia. We have huge participation in the grassroots, with the Socceroos and Matildas consistently excelling on the world stage.

“We have a group of elite women footballers who challenge the world and are becoming iconic role models for all young people.

“Johnny saw that this could happen. And he saw so much more. He saw Australia as not only making World Cups, he saw Australia winning World Cups.

“He saw a future where Australians loved the game, participated fulsomely and were passionate.

“Anyone who has doubts about the future of the game in Australia needs only to remember this great man’s legacy. When there appeared to be no future, no A-League, no qualification for World Cups and when young people were vilified for playing football, Warren lead the way.

“We have not yet fulfilled his vision. We have more to do. We have to continue to grow the game. We need to share the passion and the revenue, not only to create better careers and a professional game, but for strong grassroots.

“Football in Australia is stronger than it has ever been. We need to continue to foster a dynamic, engaging and exciting identity and atmosphere for football in Australia. It needs to continue to be able to work across the many differences in culture, income and gender to make use of its natural assets in people, their passion and the power of the game to bring people together.

“This is the world game. Australia can punch much further above its weight. Today we remember Johnny Warren and the vision he created as we strive to see it come to fruition.”