Tributes have been flooding in from across the world after iconic football presenter Les Murray passed away on Monday at the age of 71, with NSW Premier Gladys Berejiklian announcing on Tuesday the football legend will be honoured with a State Funeral.
There had been calls for a state funeral from Murray’s former colleagues and the federal Labor party for Murray dubbed ‘Mr Football.’
The Hungarian-born presenter who was born Laszlo Urge, but changed his name after it was frequently mispronounced, dedicated 35 years to football in Australia, beginning his career at SBS as a Hungarian subtitle writer.
In 2003 he was inducted into the Football Federation Australia Hall of Fame. Before his retirement in 2014 he was the host of The World Game on SBS television.
Murray was honoured during a minute’s silence before kick-off at all four Football Federation Australia (FFA) Cup Round of 32 matches on Tuesday night and players wore black armbands as a remark of respect.
Berejiklian offered her condolences to the family before making the announcement of the state procession.
“On behalf of the people of NSW I extend my deepest sympathies to Les Murray’s family, friends and colleagues,” the Premier said.
“Thanks in large part to Les’s tireless and passionate advocacy, football is now one of the most popular sports in the country and part of our mainstream sporting consciousness.
“But Les’s good work was not limited to sport alone. Les, who came to Australia as a refugee from Hungary, was an inspiration to many communities across our multicultural society.
“Les epitomised the post-war generations of migrants who helped make Australia what it is today. Les passionately embraced his new life and gave back to his community in spades.”
Murray who lost his battle after a long illness is survived by his partner and two daughters.