Laurie Schwab, soccer visionary
In all the hoopla surrounding the rising success of Australian soccer, the media has forgotten the late but great Laurie Schwab, former soccer writer for Melbourne newspaper, The Age, whose life was cut short by cancer ten years ago.
He was a visionary and pasionate in his campaign to raise the profile of Australian soccer. I believe Laurie, the son of German immigrants, should be on par with the late Johnny Warren, former Socceroos captain and SBS TV commentator.
I began my journalism career as a soccer writer in 1985 when Laurie gave me my start on the now defunct but legendary soccer newspaper, Soccer Action (David Syme publications), a member of Fairfax stable of publications. Laurie subsequently took on senior editorial roles in Fairfax suburban newspapers while keeping a firm commitment to soccer.
Laurie would have loved the success of the A league and the performance of the Socceroos. It's through the hard work of people like him that Australian soccer is finally outgrowing its provincial roots and succeeding on the world stage.