The original Hall of Fame committee - David Andrews, Frank Miller,
John O'Connell, Julius Re and Alan Beale (absent, Bob Brown)
The Hall of Fame was the brainchild of former State player John O'Connell. As a member of soccer's ruling body in WA, The Soccer Administration of WA (SAWA), O'Connell in 1995 put forward the idea of establishing a Hall of Fame to celebrate 100 years of official soccer in WA in 1996. SAWA, under the presidency of long-time soccer personality, Mr Lou Ricci, readily agreed to the idea and commissioned O'Connell to formulate and head a committee charged with the authority to develop a Hall of Fame.
O'Connell sought out identities in the community who had the background and reputation within the code of soccer to inspire confidence in a fair and balanced approach in the establishment and implementation of a Hall of Fame. To this end he attracted Julius Re, Frank Miller, Bob Brown, Alan Beale and David Andrews to join him in this historic venture.
Once the committee for the Hall of Fame had been selected guidelines were established to formalize a system that would be reflective of all facets of the code to honour those both on and off the field of play. The Hall of Champions would pay tribute to players while the Hall of Recognition would recognise referees, coaches, administrators, journalists and sponsors who had significantly contributed to the games' advancement.
The first induction into the Hall of Fame was a black-tie event in November 1996. Amongst the inaugural inductees were champions from the code's foundation in 1896 and through the 20th century. In all twenty-nine players entered the Hall of Champions, while seventeen individuals were inducted into the Hall of Recognition. In all twenty-nine players, including three women, were welcomed into the Hall of Champions, while seventeen individuals were inducted into the Hall of Recognition.
A special place in the Hall of Recognition was reserved for the Burt family who above all others were responsible for inspiring and establishing soccer in WA. Sir Septimus Burt, the State's first Attorney General, and five of his six sons cajoled and persuaded soccer's birth in May of 1896 serving on the first committee and adding their enthusiasm on the playing field. Two sons, Reginald and George, played for WA with George in the State side until the start of World War One. George then continued after the war for many years in an administrative capacity.
A second induction ceremony took place in November 2002 with a further eleven players and fourteen others being added to the list of the elite. Among those inducted into the Hall of Recognition on this occasion were a number of personalities who had done sterling work in regional areas such as Albany, Geraldton and Bunbury.
To commemorate the first State match in 1902, when WA were beaten by the touring English Cricket team, the Hall of Fame committee selected the top 100 players of the past 100 years - A Century of Champions. This ceremony took place in July 2004.
In October 2005 four players - Ron Adair, John McInroy, Gary Marocchi and Robbie Dunn - were elevated to legendary status through the creation of the Hall of Legends. At the same event nine players were added to the Hall of Champions with fourteen officials recognised into the Hall of Recognition to take the total number of Hall of Fame inductees to ninety-nine. This took the total number of Hall of Fame inductees to ninety-nine.
The Hall of Fame celebrated its 10th anniverary in November 2006. The international achievements of Stan Lazaridis, Tony Franken, Alistair Edwards and Con Purser were recognised along with the Marah Halim Cup winning State teams of 1975 and 1976. In addition, Football Federation Australia awarded commemorative Socceroo caps to sixteen players who've represented the nation at senior international level.
In October 2007 the Hall of Fame celebrated the 40th anniversary of the State teams' historic inclusion in Malysia's Merdeka Cup tournament - and the 30th anniversary of the State women's tour of Asia. The State mens team became the first Australian representative team to take part in an Asian event by competing in the 1967 Merdeka Cup, while the tour of Asia by the State women's team in 1977 was the first by an Australian representative side.
The 60th anniversary of WA's historic win at the 1948 Southern States Carnival was recognised at the fourth Hall of Fame induction ceremony in July 2008. Eleven players were welcomed into the Hall of Champions with a further seven entering the newly created Hall of Merit For Players. Eleven coaches, administrators, and media personalities joined the Hall of Recognition.
Sandra Brentnall became the first female player in the world to enter a Football Hall of Legends when she was inducted along with Robbie Zabica in May 2012. This fifth induction also welcomed nine players to the Hall fof Champions, fourteen joined the Hall of Merit For Players and nine referees, coaches, administrators and medics were honoured in the Hall of Recognition.
The current Hall of Fame committee - Louis Prospero, Bob Brown, Barbara Gibson, John O'Connell, Peter Dimopoulos, Richard Kreider, Roger Males and Mel Moffat - are working towards the establishment a permanent museum to showcase the rich history of the game in WA, as well as display memorabilia of national and international significance.
Last updated 23rd May 2012