Vale John ‘Martin’ Royal

Football Federation Australia (FFA) is saddened to learn of the passing of one of FFA Hall of Fame’s inaugural inductees John ‘Martin’ Royal.

Royal passed away peacefully on Sunday, 29 March 2020 in Kew, Victoria. He was 99. 

Royal was inducted into the FFA Hall of Fame in 1999 upon its establishment for his long and exemplary service to the football media. 

Royal arrived in Australia at the end of World War II and adopted the on-air name of ‘Martin’ at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) due to the fact there was already another John Royal working at their Melbourne studios. 

Royal became the ABC’s first ever special soccer commentator from 1954, and became known as the ‘Voice of Soccer’ through to his retirement 30 years later.

Royal travelled overseas covering the Socceroos on numerous occasions, striking up close friendships with many of the staff and players who were representing the green and gold. 

The thoughts of everyone at FFA are with John ‘Martin’ Royal’s family and friends at this time.