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Soccer And The Socceroos Lose A Great Fan

Newcastle Herald

Saturday June 14, 2008

By MARTIN DINNEEN

JIM SCANE

1916-2008

JIM Scane, a man who loved soccer, the Socceroos and good humour, died in England this week at the age of 91.

Mr Scane was well known in the Hunter Valley soccer community for his long connection with the Cessnock Hornets and as one of the Socceroos' most colourful supporters, leading them onto the field twice as their honorary mascot at the 1974 World Cup in West Germany.

In his trademark outfit, pictured at left, he was feted wherever he went in that country, attracted more newspaper column inches than any player, and led the team on to the field for two of its three games, against West Germany and Chile.

"An incredible man," the Socceroos coach, Rale Rasic, recalled in 2006. "An Englishman who made his home in Australia, adopted the Socceroos and followed us almost everywhere. The boys treated him well - they regarded him as family."

Mr Scane acted as an interpreter, having learned German as a prisoner of war when wounded and captured at Dunkirk.

He and grandson Matthais Vesper were invited to Germany in 2006 to watch the Socceroos in their next World Cup appearance a come-from-behind 3-1 win over Japan.

Mr Vesper said watching the game with his grandfather had been special for both of them.

"It was one of the greatest day of my life, and grandad's," he said.

Cessnock Hornets Football Club life member and vice-president Garry Fairlie said Mr Scane was well loved in the club and "lived and breathed soccer".

Mr Scane, who lived at Cessnock, returned to England a year ago to live with his daughter, Linda, in Sussex.

© 2008 Newcastle Herald

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