This award is presented to an individual for their exceptional service to sports journalism over an extended period of time and for their significant and influential contribution to the reporting of Australian sport.

He was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in 2006, is a member of Football Federation Australia's Hall of Fame and was named by the French publication, L'Equipe, as one of Sydney's ten most influential people in sport.

He is chairman of the Asia-Pacific Broadcasting Union Sports Group, is a director of the Johnny Warren Football Foundation and serves on FIFA's Ethics Commission.

"Congratulations to Les on deserved recognition of his contribution to football," SBS Managing Director, Shaun Brown said.

"Les is the face of football in this country and has been a tireless supporter and promoter of the world game. SBS is privileged and proud to have had such a long association with one of Australia's truly great sports journalists."

Murray said: "This is the biggest honour the Australian sporting family has ever given me. I am thrilled by it and am very proud of my country.

"That I, who came here as a penniless child refugee over 50 years ago, should receive such an award says a lot about this country and about what a welcoming, open and receptive society we are.

"But I accept this award not just on behalf of myself but of many others with whom and with whose help I did my work and played out my dreams and continue to do, including those who are no longer with us, such as the late Johnny Warren who'd be sharing my immense pride.

"I accept it on behalf of SBS whom I must thank for giving me the licence and the platform, to do what it was that earned me this honour, and for paying me to do it."