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Legendary Socceroos coach Frank Arok dies aged 88

Legendary Socceroos coach Frank Arok dies aged 88 – as former stars pay tribute to inspirational leader

  • Legendary Socceroos coach Frank Arok has died a week before his 89th birthday
  • Football Australia announced the soccer icon’s death in a statement on Tuesday
  • He coached St George Saints as well as South Melbourne FC and Port Melbourne
  • Tributes are pouring in for Arok, who led the Socceroos in 48 internationals 

Legendary Socceroos coach Frank Arok has died just a week before his 89th birthday.

Football Australia announced the soccer icon’s death in a Twitter statement on Tuesday night. 

‘We are deeply saddened to learn that former @Socceroos coach, Frank Arok AM, has passed away at the age of 88,’ the tweet read.

‘Frank made a telling impact on Australian football, coaching the Socceroos in 89 internationals, and at the Seoul 1988 Olympic Games.

Tributes have started pouring in for Arok, who led the Socceroos in 89 internationals

Legendary Socceroos coach Frank Arok has died just a week before his 89th birthday

Legendary Socceroos coach Frank Arok has died just a week before his 89th birthday

‘Frank also made a significant contribution to club football in Australia, coaching numerous sides and mentoring hundreds of successful players in the National Soccer League.

‘Football Australia would like to extend its condolences to Frank’s family, friends and loved ones. ‘His profound impact on Australian football will never be forgotten. Vale.’

The Yugoslav-born legend played for FK Jedinstvo for a decade in the 1950s before making his name as one of the great Australian managers.

He coached St George Saints, as well as South Melbourne FC, Port Melbourne, Gippsland Falcons and Sydney Olympic but is best remembered for his role as coach of the Australian national team.

He was in charge of the Socceroos for 48 internationals between 1983 and 1989 and made a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) in the 1990 Australia Day honours for his service to soccer.

After working with Perth Glory’s youth team between 2001 and 2003, Arok moved back to Serbia with his wife to retire.

Former Socceroos star Robbie Slater thanked Arok for discovering him in a heartfelt tweet. 

‘Frank Arok RIP! The man that discovered and made me! Thank you! A true legend!,’ he wrote.

After working with Perth Glory's youth team between 2001 and 2003, Arok moved back to Serbia with his wife Gordana (right) to retire

After working with Perth Glory’s youth team between 2001 and 2003, Arok moved back to Serbia with his wife Gordana (right) to retire

Football Australia announced the soccer icon's death in a Twitter statement on Tuesday night

Football Australia announced the soccer icon’s death in a Twitter statement on Tuesday night

Others said he was among the five most influential figures in Australian soccer history

Others said he was among the five most influential figures in Australian soccer history

Premier League goalkeepers Mark Schwarzer said he was ‘very sad’ to hear of Arok’s passing. 

‘Your knowledge, passion and dedication of the game was infectious. The 2 years I had the privilege to work with you were some of my most enjoyable times in football. R.I.P #aussielegend,’ he tweeted. 

‘Frank Arok. My first boss with the #Socceroos in 1984 when I was 19. My condolences to his family. #RIP ‘Chewie’,’ coach Frank Farina wrote.  

‘So sad to hear the passing of former Socceroo coach Frank Arok. He was passionate, thought provoking but honest. RIP,’ sports joirnalist Michael Cain tweeted.  

Others said he was among the five most influential figures in Australian soccer history. 

The Yugoslav-born legend played for FK Jedinstvo for a decade in the 1950s before making his name as one of the great Australian managers

The Yugoslav-born legend played for FK Jedinstvo for a decade in the 1950s before making his name as one of the great Australian managers

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk