With the SFS hosting its final event this weekend, the game football fans will never forget is the World Cup Qualifier the Socceroos played against Maradona’s Argentina in 1993.
A then record crowd of 43,967 packed the SFS on October 31, 1993 to watch the Socceroos take on Argentina in the first leg of a two-legged play-off for a spot at the 1994 World Cup.
At the time it was Australian football’s biggest blockbuster game and that was due to one man - Diego Maradona.
Having the world’s greatest footballer in Sydney not only put football on the front and back pages of national newspapers, it drew attention from the world’s media.
“You could only imagine the chaos and the madness that occurred when Maradona was in Australia,” says Andy Paschalidis who called both legs for SBS.
“The only person that got a one-on-one interview was Les Murray. Not so much because we were the host broadcaster but Les was smart.
“He knew Maradona had two daughters and he bought them gifts and he gave them to him as he walked into the Crowne Plaza in Coogee where the Argentine team was staying before the game.
“That opened the door to get an exclusive interview with Maradona - it might have been 10 minutes at the most.”
During the game, Socceroos captain Paul Wade followed the Argentine legend everywhere and for most of the match held Maradona's attacking intent at bay.
But Australia’s worst fears eventuated when Maradona stole the ball off Australian defender Milan Ivanovic and crossed to Argentine striker Abel Balbo to give Argentina the lead.
However, the Socceroos came back with one of the most memorable moments in Australian sporting history.
Australia’s skilful Ned Zelic began the move with a beautiful diagonal pass to Tony Vidmar who then swung in a dangerous cross from the right wing for his brother Aurelio Vidmar to score the equaliser.
The noise the crowd made when Vidmar put the ball in the back of the net was deafening and for Australian football fans it didn’t get any better than that night.
The Socceroos ended up drawing 1-1 but Zelic feels Australia should have got more from that game.
“Ahhh it was massive,” he recalled. “Especially playing against Maradona, who I grew up as a kid watching and supporting.
“I thought we had a real chance. We showed we can match it with them and we could have won that first leg; we just made a few errors at the back that let them in.”