Organiser Jamie Warren had high praise for the 20th installment of the Johnny Warren Memorial Cup.
“I think it was the best ever,” he said.
“The participation, the quality of football and the huge volunteer effort from family members, Jamberoo FC and all the different volunteers was great.
“I think it’s the best event we’ve had to date.”
The annual Johnny Warren Memorial Cup took place at Kevin Walsh Oval, Jamberoo last weekend. The late Johnny Warren, who captained the Socceroos in 27 matches was honoured as the tournament celebrated its 20th year.
The seven-a-side affair is a fundraiser for the Johnny Warren Football Foundation and attracts teams from the Illawarra, South Coast and other parts of NSW.
The foundation provides funds for the development of youth football in Australia.
Warren’s nephew Jamie, who also runs the Johnny Warren Football Foundation said 74 teams had registered across five divisions.
The tournament features two women’s divisions (Open and over-30s) and three men’s divisions (over-35s, over-45s and over-50s).
“The players were unbelievable,” Jamie Warren said.
“The standard was particularly high and played in the right spirit. The weather was warm, so we encouraged everyone to keep the water up and had two medics on hand just in case.”
Warren said the Sydney-based coach and Horses team’s victory was a highlight.
“They’ve been coming here for 19 years, and this was their first tournament win,” he said. “They dedicated their win to ‘Guvvy’, a former player and friend who passed away recently.”
Retired A-League referee Strebre Delovski officiated the men’s over-35s final.
Warren famously said the words “I told you so” before passing away in 2004, referring to football rise to prominence in Australia, with the formation of the A-League and the Socceroos finally breaking through to qualify for the World Cup in 2006.
He spoke of a vision for Australia being a contender to win the biggest international football tournament and his career and life legacy can be seen in what is effectively a shrine to him at the Jamberoo pub.
- JOHNNY WARREN CUP
20th anniversary tournament
Saturday and Sunday at Kevin Walsh Oval, Jamberoo
•Open women’s: Albion Park defeated 2536 Clydettes 9-0 in the final.
•Over-35 men’s: Boardaloo Rangers (Illawarra/Sydney) defeated Wednesday Nighters (Sydney) 4-0.
•Over-30 women’s: SHBFC Goal Diggers defeated Maccabi 4-0.
•Over-45 men’s: Eagles FC defeated Bosco 1-0.
•Over-50 men’s: Coach and Horses defeated Bluetongues 2-1.