Football Federation Australia (FFA) is saddened to learn of the passing of legendary football broadcaster Les Murray AM who died today after a period of illness.
Murray was inducted into the FFA Hall of Fame in 2003 and was awarded the Member of the Order of Australia in 2006 for his services to football as a radio and television producer, journalist and presenter, and through national and international football organisations.
Born in Hungary in 1945, Les Murray’s early years were spent following the famous Hungarian team of the 1950s. His playing career was interrupted when his family migrated to Australia in 1957. They settled in Sydney where Murray resumed playing with Sydney club St George Budapest. He moved into journalism with the Fairfax Group until 1980 when the opportunity arose to join SBS Television.
In 1984 Murray toured with the national team to China and Europe. He presented regular weekly programs on football for SBS, including acting as compere for major awards nights. Murray was also the author of articles and books on the world game.
FFA Chairman Steven Lowy AM, expressed condolences on behalf of the Australian football community.
“This is a very sad day for football. Few people become synonymous with their sport…but Les was one of those few,” said Lowy.
“He made an immense contribution to football in Australia through his professional work but above all through his passion…he literally brought the game to millions and connected us to the biggest sport in the world.
“I’ve been seeing his face and hearing his voice since I was a teenager and I am sure I speak for many when I say that football is not going to be quite the same without him around,” concluded Lowy.
FFA CEO David Gallop, in the United States with the Westfield Matildas, said Les Murray had made football accessible to many people who were new to the game.
“Les turned the term “the world game” into a reality for millions of Australians. He had unmatched passion along with his great friend the late Johnny Warren MBE OAM for what football could be and how to take it there, ” said Gallop.
Football Federation Australia extends its condolences to Les Murray’s partner Maria and his daughters Tania and Natalie.