New FFA Hall of Fame inductee Andrew Dettre says improving football in Australia was the motivation behind his 20-year career in football journalism.
The 92-year-old former Soccer World editor was unable to attend his induction into the FFA Hall of Fame at the Dolan Warren Awards due to health issues, but his son Steve attended in his absence.
Upon receiving the certificate commemorating his induction, Dettre expressed that his work was not for personal gain, but rather the betterment of football in the Australia and everyone involved in the sport.
“I never thought about how posterity would view me or my work,” said Dettre.
“I did what I did for football, for my desire to improve the place of football in the Australian sporting landscape, not for personal gain or awards.
“My work was a reflection of my love of football.
“I hoped that in some small way I could improve the situation for players, coaches, administrators and fans of this wonderful sport.”
Read Dettre’s Bio below.
Dettre is a giant of Australian football journalism. 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. He was born in Hungary in 1926 and came to Australia in 1949.
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.
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.
Andrew Dettre remains a hero and an inspiration. Football is moving into a new era, but his work and his vision remain as relevant as ever.