SYDNEY: Trailblazing football icon Joe Marston, the first Australian to play an English FA Cup final in 1954, died on Sunday aged 89.
The Socceroos defender, who was capped 37 times between 1947 and 1964, passed away of natural causes, Football Federation Australia said.
Marston was 28 when he played at Wembley for Preston North End alongside Tom Finney and Tommy Docherty in their 3-2 FA Cup final defeat to West Bromwich Albion.
He made 154 appearances for the club, propelling him into Australian sporting folklore to the extent that FFA created the Joe Marston Medal, awarded to the best player in the domestic A-League grand final.
“Joe Marston was a giant of the game, in his stature as a player and his towering achievements,” said FFA chief executive David Gallop.
“He was a pioneer in the 1950s, showing that Australian footballers were capable of matching it with the best in the English First Division. This was a remarkable achievement in itself.
“Joe was and will always remain a true Aussie hero.”