Socceroos great Tim Cahill is “gobsmacked” and humbled after being recognised in the Australia Day Honours List.
The 41-year-old was appointed an Officer (AO) of the Order of Australia for his distinguished service to football as an elite player at national and international level, as well as for his work with charitable and sports organisations.
During his 21-year professional career, Cahill scored a record 50 goals in 108 appearances for Australia, played in four World Cups and appeared in 600 professional matches at eight clubs all over the globe.
Having his achievements formally recognised is something that’s made Cahill proud.
“I was gobsmacked because as a player and as a person, your whole life, all you want to do firstly is make your parents proud,” Cahill told AAP.
“Then to achieve the career that I’ve had on and off the park domestically and internationally, to be recognised in that way, (is) truly humbling.
“I said when I finished that all I wanted from the game and myself was just to be respected and this is something that is just a massive reward for all the hard work time and effort.
“My family, friends, the fans have all played a massive part.”
Family has been Cahill’s focus since his retirement in March 2019, with son Kyah embarking on his own professional career in Spain while two more of his children, Shae and Sienna, are also forging paths in junior football in England.
Cahill has been working towards earning his Union of European Football Associations pro licence, and has already been linked to the recent managerial vacancy at English League One club, Fleetwood Town.
“My goal was to spend time with the kids and the family after 20-odd years playing professionally,” he said.
“I’ve just been studying, getting the badges, the licences, doing courses on a business level and executive level and spending a lot of time with top clubs around the world to hone my craft on the coaching side as well which is exciting.”