Sandra Brentnall makes history
Sandra Brentnall made history last Saturday night (May 19) when she became the first female anywhere in the world to be inducted into a Football Hall of Legends.
The 49-year-old re-wrote the sporting record books at the Football Hall of Fame WA induction ceremony at a Perth hotel.
Along with WA’s record international goalkeeper Robert Zabica, who was also welcomed into the Hall of Legends at the gala celebration, Brentnall joined an elite band of players to be elevated to legendary status.
The inaugural members of the Hall of Legends, which was established in 2005, are former Australian captains Gary Marocchi and Ron Adair, international defender Robbie Dunn and record goalscorer John McInroy.
Brentnall was the first female to score an international goal for Australia back in 1979 when she struck in the 2-2 draw against New Zealand in the Trans Tasman Cup.
A year later, she became the first Australian to get an international hat-trick when she bagged a triple in the 3-2 win over New Zealand.
Spearwood-born Zabica played 42 times for Australia - his most famous being against Argentina’s Diego Maradona in a 1994 World Cup qualifier - and won two NSL titles with Adelaide City. He had a spell with Perth Glory and was Australia’s Goalkeeper of the Year in 1992.
Among those who were inducted into the Hall of Champions on Saturday night were WA’s most-capped international Stan Lazaridis, former Socceroos goalkeeper Tony Franken and two other ex-internationals in Bobby Despotovski and Scott Miller.
Julie Gorton and Judy Pettitt, who played many times for the Australian women’s team, were also inducted into the Hall of Champions.
Brothers Steve and Paul Tombides became the third set of siblings to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. They were among a group of 14 to be welcomed into the Hall of Merit for Players.
Two former referees Andy Gorton and Frank Moretti were inducted into the Hall of Recognition, which also honoured former Perth Azzurri coaches John Birighitti and Doug Stewart, 81, who flew in from Queensland to accept his award.
The list of inductees is:
HALL OF LEGENDS
HALL OF CHAMPIONS
Julie Gorton (nee Clayton)
HALL OF MERIT FOR PLAYERS
Alf De Bono
HALL OF RECOGNITION
Dr Ken Fitch
Dr Ken Maguire