From the heroes of the Covid-19 frontline to the God of Thunder namely Chris Hemsworth, the Queen’s Birthday Honours List has recognised 1190 exemplary Australians which has also included two distinct Football advocates from NSW in former Socceroo star Robbie Slater and former Sutherland Sharks President George Hurley both receiving Medal of the Order of Australia (OAM) merits.
Although originally born in Lancashire, England, Slater came to Australia and made a name for himself after kicking off his footballing career with the St George Saints as well as Sydney Croatia before moving abroad where he furthered his profession.
It saw the 56-year-old embark on an amazing journey that saw him play in the top tier leagues in Belgium, France and of course England where he won an English Premier League Premiership with the Blackburn Rovers.
Slater also represented the Socceroos 44 times and after retiring from the game, became an analyst and commentator for Fox Sports.
Football NSW also has a medal in Slater’s honour for the game with every National Premier Leagues NSW Men’s Grand Final Man of the Match award named after him.
While for Hurley, the 84-year-old Gymea resident has quite simply been ‘Mr Football’ in the Shire area for decades.
The former Sutherland Shire Councillor who has served on more than 30 committees has devoted his entire time to the world game at both Community and NPL level.
A former complex manager at Seymour Shaw Park, Hurley coached local teams Engadine, Heathcote, Miranda, and Kirrawee in the Sutherland Shire Football Association.
George has been a life member at the Sutherland Sharks Football club since 1959 and played football himself against Fiji in front of 4000 spectators at Seymour Shaw in 1969.
He served in various positions at the Sharks as President, is currently Vice-President and General Manager of the club as well as playing a pivotal role in founding an education and training scholarship that saw young Footballers in the Shire area head overseas.
Football Australia Director Joseph Carrozzi as well as former Marconi Stallions star Eddie Krncevic were also awarded OAM’s.
Football NSW would like to congratulate both men on their respective awards which are merited.