This year’s Queen’s Birthday Honours List saw 1190 exemplary Australians recognised for their outstanding contributions, with four significant figures of Australian football receiving Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) merits.
Former Socceroo star Robbie Slater, former Sutherland Sharks President George Hurley, Football Australia board member Joseph Carrozzi and former Marconi Stallions star Eddie Krncevic were each awarded OAM’s.
Slater, originally born in Lancashire, England, came to Australia and made a name for himself after kicking off his footballing career with St George Saints and Sydney Croatia before moving abroad to take on an incredible journey through the top tier leagues in European football.
The 56-year-old played in Belgium, France and England, where his tenure with the infamous Blackburn Rovers saw him become an English Premier League Champion in the 1994/95 season. In addition, Slater represented the Socceroos 44 times and upon his retirement became an analyst and commentator for Fox Sports.
Football NSW also have a medal in Slater’s honour with every National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Grand Final Man of the Match award named after him.
The 84-year-old Hurley, a former complex manager at Seymour Shaw Park, coached local teams Engadine, Heathcote, Miranda and Kirrawee in the Sutherland Shire Football Association.
A veritable ‘football man’ at heart, the former Sutherland Shire Councillor has served on more than 30 committees and devoted his entire time to the world game at both Community and NPL level.
Hurley, a life member at the Sutherland Sharks Football club since 1959, played football himself against Fiji in front of 4000 spectators at Seymour Shaw in 1969. Moreover, Hurley served various positions at the Sharks as President and is currently Vice-President and General Manager of the club in addition to founding an education and training scholarship which saw young footballers in the Shire area head overseas.
A major lover of football and significant contributor to the development of the Western Sydney region, Carrozzi was recognised for his significant service to business and to the community through multicultural and not-for-profit organisations.
Krncevic, a lifetime servant of football, was recognised for his undivided loyalty and dedication to the world game. He was the first Australian to play in Europe and the first Australian-born player to be top goal scorer for a European league at Anderlecht – Belgian First Division A in the 1988/89 season.