Honouring Five-plus-Five of the WA greats
FIVE of the WA team that faced Manchester United in a memorable international challenge contest in 1967 were the guests of the Football Hall of Fame WA at a special celebration at the Red Devils clash with Perth Glory at Optus Stadium on July 13.
And a further five former State team players who took on the might of United in 1975 also attended the function.
The players from the 1967 State team that lost 7-0 to a Man Utd team that included superstars George Best, Denis Law and Bobby Charlton were: Peter Mitchell, Alister Norwood, Theo Paap, Christian Ducasse and Bobby Varlow.
Julius Re, who was the president of the ruling body Soccer Federation of WA in 1967, was also present. Julius had also filled the role of United's Australian ambassador during their tour Down Under 52 years ago.
The five players who turned out against the English giants in 1975 - only going down 2-1 after missing a penalty - were: Steve Stacey, Saverio Madaschi, John O'Connell, Aldo Trinca and Denis Barstow.
The coach of that WA side was Football Hall of Fame Legend Alan Vest, who also attended the function.
A special guest was former Manchester United and Scotland international Francis Burns, who was part of the 1967 squad that toured Australia but missed the Perth game because of injury.
Francis received a commemorative plaque to mark the occasion, as did all the other players and officials, including another special guest, Lee Stroud, the president of the Manchester United Perth Supporters Club.
Another guest was another Hall of Fame Legend Sandra Brentnall, who is believed to be the only female legend in football halls of fame around the world. Sandra scored Australia's first goal in 'A' international football in 1979 - and also got Australia's first international hat-trick the following year.
Football Hall of Fame WA Committee chairman Louis Prospero said that it was wonderful to see so many stars of the past get together to celebrate what were milestone games in the history of the sport in Western Australia - and to witness the efforts of the players who are keeping alive an important association with the Red Devils.
"The aim of the Hall of Fame Committee is to make sure the history of the game in WA is preserved and it's so important that we continue to honour the players and officials who have contributed so much to that great history," said Prospero, who added: "And I wish to applaud the on-going support of the Wright Burt Foundation whose funding make events like this possible."
The Optus Oval contest against the Glory, which United won 2-0, attracted a crowd of 50,206.
A few days later, 55,274 turned up at the same venue to witness Man United beat English rivals Leeds United 4-0.
Football has attracted bumper crowds in the only four games to have been played so far at Optus Stadium. There was a record turn-out of 56,371 for Glory's A-League Grand Final against Sydney FC in May this year, while 55,522 saw Chelsea beat Perth Glory 1-0 in a thrilling challenge game in July, 2018.
For the record, the teams that took the park on July 13 were:
Man United First Half: 22.Sergio ROMERO (GK), 4.Phil JONES, 11.Anthony MARTIAL, 14.Jesse LINGARD, 15.Andreas PEREIRA, 18.Ashley YOUNG, 20.Diogo DALOT, 21.Daniel JAMES, 31.Nemaja MATIC, 38.Axel TUANZEBE, 44.Tahith CHONG
Man United Second Half: 40.Joel PEREIRA (GK), 6.Paul POGBA, 8.Juan MATA, 10.Marcus RASHFORD, 12.Chris SMALLING, 16.Marcos ROJO, 23.Luke SHAW (37.James GARNER 84'), 26.Mason GREENWOOD, 28.Angel GOMES, 29.Aaron WAN-BISSAKA, 39.Scott MCTOMINAY
Perth Glory: 33.Liam REDDY (1.Tando VELAPHI 77'), 3.Jacob TRATT, 4.Shane LOWRY, 5.Ivan FRANJIC (12.Joshua RAWLINS 90'), 7.Joel CHIANESE (22.Kristian POPOVIC 76'), 10.Bruno FORNAROLI (18.Gabriel POPOVIC 76'), 14.Chris HAROLD (26.Nick D'AGOSTINO 62'), 16.Tomislav MRCELA, 20.Jake BRIMMER (15.Brandon WILSON 62'), 27.Juande, 88.Neil KILKENNY
PIC ONE: From left: Francis Burns, Theo Paap, Christian Ducasse, Bobby Varlow, Peter Mitchell, Alister Norwood. PIC TWO: From left: Steve Stacey, Denis Barstow, Saverio Madaschi, Alan Vest, Francis Burns, John O'Connell, Aldo Trinca. PIC THREE: Louis Prospero (centre) holds aloft the Pennant from the 1967 game. PIC FOUR: Hall of Fame Committee members Penny Tanner and Elizabeth Re with Sandra Brentnall and Julius Re. PIC FIVE: Lee Stroud and Francis Burns with the 1967 Pennant.