Alan Garside, Australia's second-oldest living Socceroo got to wear an Australian jersey again after a special visit from famous footballer Mark Bosnich at the Ferndale nursing home this week.
Mr Garside, 94, began playing soccer as an 11-year-old in 1937 for Granville and went on to be selected in 1953 as the 148th 'Socceroo' against China.
He was also a good cricket player, a feared fast bowler who played for Granville and in one season took 50 wickets.
The former Socceroo also represented Australia against South Africa in 1955 before a leg injury shortened his career.
Mr Garside played centre forward and has fond memories of his path to the National team.
"I was a milkman in the Granville area all my working life, delivering the milk by horse and cart, starting at 1am every morning, it kept me fit and helped me in my football career," he said.
Mr Garside said it was an honour to meet Mr Bosnich and was happy to share some Socceroo memories with him and the Leader.
"One of the fondest memories I have of playing for the Socceroos was a match we played at the Sydney Cricket Ground in which they had to close the gates," he said.
"It was estimated to be the largest crowd ever at the cricket ground at the time.
"I scored two goals in that match."
Bosnich played for the Socceroos and English Premier League clubs Aston Villa, Manchester United and Chelsea.
The former star goalkeeper said he enjoyed spending time with Mr Garside.
"As far as I am concerned, our Socceroos are the real gems of our country and he is at the top of the tree," Bosnich said.
"After playing his last international game (called a 'test match' back then), Alan swapped jerseys with the South African team as a token of appreciation.
"However, Alan always feared that he would never have an Australian jersey again.
"I was very proud to fulfil Alan's dream by presenting him with a brand-new Socceroo jersey with his name printed on the back.
"Alan also decided that he will add his player number '9' onto it."
Georges River Council mayor Kevin Greene said Mr Garside had a remarkable record in the soccer community.
"He is a wonderful man and his goal-scoring feats in the early 1950s are astonishing," he said.
"It is easy to see why he was representing Australia for four years straight.
"Georges River is lucky to have this outstanding man as a part of our community."
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