Fans support Johnston tribute 

LEGEND: Hunter-born Craig Johnston.
LEGEND: Hunter-born Craig Johnston.

A PUSH to name Hunter Stadium’s western grandstand after the region’s greatest soccer player Craig Johnston was a hot topic on social media on New Year's Eve. 

SBS broadcaster Les Murray, known as Mr Football, threw his weight behind the plan.

‘‘He lifted the profile of football in Oz tremendously with his exploits at Liverpool,’’ Murray tweeted.

Former Socceroo and English Premier League star Robbie Slater, now a Fox Sports commentator, backed the plan.

‘‘Great idea,’’ Slater tweeted.

Johnston’s biographer Neil Jameson said Johnston inspired thousands of Hunter footballers, including former Knights stars Andrew and Matty Johns.

Brendan Schwab, the founder and former chief executive of Professional Footballers Australia, said professional players held Johnston ‘‘in the highest regard’’.

The  Herald reported yesterday that former Socceroos goalkeeper Mark Bosnich said it was a ‘‘fantastic idea’’.

Johnston is Australia’s most decorated footballer.

His achievements include five league titles with Liverpool, an FA Cup winner’s medal and a European Cup  win.

Some critics questioned the plan, noting that Johnston never played for Australia.

Others proposed Ray Baartz, Cheryl Salisbury or Paul Harragon as contenders.


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