It was 50 years ago today!

It was 50 years ago today!

Forget Sgt Pepper! 50 years ago today the indomitable Rale Rasic guided a bunch of part-timers to the 1974 World Cup in West Germany when Jimmy Mackay scored the goal, against South Korea in Hong Kong, that was enough to get Australia to its first World Cup finals. 

Back then, the World Cup finals comprised only 16 teams and the fact that Rasic and his squad managed to qualify was an achievement that has been worth every accolade thrown their way in the 50 years since.

You can read about the qualifying campaign for the 1974 World Cup, as well as those from 1965 through to 2022 in John Maynard's two volume set, Socceroos - World Cup Odyssey. If you're a student of Australian football history, this impeccably researched, passionately written, two-set chronology is a 'must have' for your home library. In his 'day job', John is an emeritus professor of history - so he is a true football historian. 

Also released in time to celebrate today's auspicious anniversary is Philip Micallef's wonderful biography of one of the 1974 Socceroo favourites, Adrian Alston. Entitled Noddy - The Untold Story of Adrian Alston, it covers Noddy's life from Preston to the south coast of NSW to Berlin, England's then first division, Tampa, all things in-between and beyond culminating in a life working with people who are intellectually disadvantaged. It's a warm and engaging read told in the efficient journalistic style by Philip. 

Of course, they are not the only books written about Socceroos in Fair Play Publishing's collection. Only last month, we released Andy Bernal's second book, The Vibe Manager which is the inside story of Central Coast Mariner's championship winning season in 2022-23. 

All fantastic gifts as we wind down the year and start to think about Christmas or Hannukah or whatever reason we need to give a gift to someone we love.

Check out our entire Socceroos collection - books by, and about, Socceroos, here.

And to the '74 Socceroos, and those who came before them and after them, thank you for all that you have done for our game. For those of us of a 'certain age', you are the team of our hearts. 

Join us for the launch of 'Noddy'

The Year of the Matildas