Australian football broadcasting legend Les Murray dies, aged 71

Australian football broadcasting legend Les Murray dies, aged 71”

Legendary football broadcaster Les Murray has died today at the age of 71 after a battle with illness.

"You championed the attractive game - The World Game - in Australia over so many years", Mr Turnbull said.

Widely known as Australia's "Mr Football" and the voice of the game within the country, Murray stepped down from his full-time role in 2014 but remained involved with SBS' coverage in a guest role. At a time when the game needed cultural warriors - like his great mate Johnny, with whom Les is now at peace - Les stood up and took everyone on.

The above message appears atop a blog post, originally written by Murray's long-time mate and commentary box colleague Craig Foster.

"Les came to a country that mistreated football and the "wogs" who played it, and sat proudly, impeccably attired on the wog channel and told us - in the flawless pronunciation that would become his emblem - that this game is priceless, it is the game of the world, that just because you do not know it means nothing to me".

"In a land of boof and biff, it was an act of great moral strength to face Australia every day, and in showing such respect for the game, allow fellow football lovers to feel the self respect they craved when others tried so hard to take that away".

He received a Member of the Order of Australia for services to sports journalism in 2006 and, three years later, was given a lifetime achievement award by the Australian Sports Commission.

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"In this, Les Murray stood nearly alone".

Western Sydney Wanderers will hold a minute's silence in Murray's honour before Tuesday's FFA Cup match against Wellington Phoenix at Campbelltown Stadium.

He was present at the outset of the National Soccer League and presented several World Cups as the sport transitioned into the A-League era.

"I hope I can legitimately claim that football is in a better place now than it was when SBS and I first went on a mission to build its profile".

"There were a lot of people who contributed greatly, but nobody at a time who contributed so much when it needed it the most", Culina said. "They ask that their privacy is respected during this hard time".

Football Federation Australia chairman Steven Lowy also spoke about what Murray meant to football in Australia.

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