Made in Manchester has made an edition of the BBC World Service strand Sporting Witness looking back at a pivotal moment in Australian sporting history – when their part time soccer side clinched their first piece of silverware in an international tournament.
It happened in Saigon in November 1967 and it took place in the middle of the Vietnam War. Not only did the Aussie side face the might of teams like South Korea, Malaysia and Singapore but they had to do it while their hotel fell about around them, with land mines on the training pitch, poor food and the constant fear of bombs and bullets.
In this edition of Sporting Witness, Ashley Byrne talks to retired stars’ Ray Baartz and Stan Ackersley (both former Manchester United players) about the experience and how it led to the Aussies being nicknamed the Socceroos.
The programme airs on the BBC World Service this Tuesday March 10th at 0950. It is produced and presented by Ashley Byrne and edited by Iain Mackness.