On this day 13 years ago, Australian football lost one of the game’s greatest evangelist, when Johnny Warren died at age 61 on November 6, 2004.

Warren played over 40 games for the national team and in 1965, at 22 years of age, was part of the first Australian squad that attempted to qualify for a World Cup.

Even though they lost to North Korea 9-2 over two legs and didn’t make it to England 1966, the experience the Aussies gained would be the precursor for future World Cup qualification.

That would occur two campaigns later when led by coach Rale Rasic, and including Warren, Australia played at their first ever World Cup when the Socceroos competed in Germany 1974.

Warren began his club career with Canterbury-Marrickville then spent 12 years with St George Budapest in a team that at one point featured 10 Socceroos from the 74 World Cup squad.

Johnny Warren 1960 Canterbury-Marrickville

Andy Paschalidis recalled watching Warren playing during this period which soon after saw him work with the former Australian national team captain at SBS.

“It was surreal in a sense,” he said speaking to FourFourTwo. “I remember watching him as a kid and going with a Hungarian family from my school and seeing him play for St George Budapest.

“Never in my wildest dreams did I ever think that I would be working alongside him - and I did at Soccer Weekly.