Australian football changed forever on the night of November 16, 2005, when the Socceroos’ qualification for the World Cup broke a 31-year drought and soothed many years of heartache.
Paired in the commentary box were two men at opposite stages of their Australian football journey’s: Socceroos royalty Craig Foster, and SBS commentator Simon Hill, who’d moved to Australia less than two years prior.
Together, they produced a call that has become synonymous with football folklore in this country.
“It was hugely exciting and for me as a foreigner to play even a small part in such a huge story was incredible”, Hill reflected on Box2Box.
“It sort of bonded me very closely with the game here in Australia and I’ve taken that on, maybe a little too far in the years that have followed!”
“But it’s a bond that will last for life, it’s been absolutely fantastic”.
Despite his recent arrival in the country Hill was distinctly aware of the weight of the occasion at the time, and as a result that his call needed to match the circumstances.
“As a commentator when you’re calling really big games you’re fully aware that your words are going to carry weight… for an occasion like that, it’s going to be relayed over and over for years and years”.
But for all the euphoria associated with the night, it’s not one Hill is able to look back on with total satisfaction.
“I’ve said on many occasions in the past, that night is probably not one if my favourites professionally”.
“The winning penalty, there’s a couple of lines I don’t mind, but overall it was a tricky night”.