Vale Andrew Dettre: FFA saddened by loss of Hall of Fame inductee

Football Federation Australia (FFA) is saddened to learn of the passing of legendary football journalist Andrew Dettre this morning.

Andrew Dettre was born in Hungary in 1926 and came to Australia in 1949.

From 1963 to 1982 he was the editor of Soccer World, a national newspaper based in Sydney, and a contributor to World Soccer in London and Soccer Action in Melbourne. 

In the 1960s, Dettre was one of the first journalists to suggest that Australia join the Asian Football Confederation (AFC). He matched words with deeds by traveling and organising tours of the region on behalf of the Australian Soccer Federation and St. George-Budapest. In 1962, Dettre was the first Australian to make contact with Frank Arok, who later became one of Australia’s favourite coaches.

Andrew Dettre

In the 1970s Dettre worked for the Labor Government of Gough Whitlam, and was a key advocate for the creation of the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS). He co-authored Johnny Warren's first book, Soccer the Australian way. He reported the formation of the National Soccer League and took the minutes at its very first meeting. In 1977 he wrote that the NSL should be rebuilt, with ‘superteams’ in all the major cities, backed by private business and corporate sponsors, not unlike today’s Hyundai A-League competition. In the 1980s he was the first person to advocate summer soccer, which was eventually adopted in 1989 and is now a key part of the Hyundai A-League.

Last month Andrew was inducted into the FFA Hall of Fame for his contributions to football in Australia as a football journalist.

Andrew is survived by his son Steve and daughter Anne.

A memorial service for Andrew will be held at St Mary's Church North Sydney at 10.30am, Thursday 28 June.

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This article was originally published on the Caltex Socceroos website.