Paul’s on-field soccer career spanned more than 400 international and national games. The former Socceroos captain, known worldwide as “Wadey”, looks back on a stellar football career punctuated with numerous highlights including World Cup and Olympic appearances, and playing against one of the game’s most celebrated players – Argentina’s Maradona.
Paul’s ability to engage audiences in his passion for the game has ensured a thriving media and consultancy career – motivating everyone from our nation’s youth to the boardroom with his messages of teamwork, leadership, persistence and perseverance.
"Wadey" as he is known around the world had a remarkable international career, including the Olympic Games, 2 World Cup campaigns and one of the toughest tasks in world football to "mark Diego Maradona" (probably the best player in the world at that time) in the two legged world cup play off with Argentina.
In a career with over 100 appearances for his country Paul Wade also won two National Soccer League championships and was voted NSL player of the year in 1988.
46 of his 84 first class international matches were as captain of the Socceroos.
His passion for the game carried on after his retirement to both extensive work in the media as an expert TV presenter and in a variety of junior development roles.
Wadey now takes great pride in consulting to the country’s leading soccer development programs where he aims to help kids experience the joy of "playing like a Socceroo legend".
• How to win when others say you can’t
"You’re never too old” I didn’t represent anyone ‘til I was 22. Australian ‘B’ v Tasmania (1984)
“Just get the next one” don’t dwell on what’s gone.
When Paul Wade played his final international in 1996 for the Socceroos he was Australia’s most capped player in the history of the game, having represented his country in 84 matches (46 as Captain) between 1984 and 1996. Of the thousands of fans who turned out to farewell a soccer legend in that final match, there was one thing none of them knew. That Paul had epilepsy.
Paul didn't know it either, even though he had epilepsy since childhood. 'Would I have ended up representing my country in all those matches, if I knew I had epilepsy? I just don't know...everybody responds to epilepsy differently... some people let it change the whole they see themselves and what they can do.
'To deal with epilepsy well, you need good treatment but you also need the right attitude and you can't do it alone ... you need teamwork ...
1986 – 1996 118 appearances of which 84 were “A” internationals
• Debut v Czechoslovakia in Melb. 3/8/86 (24 years old)
• 2 World Cup campaigns. 1990 & 1994
• Seoul Olympics (1988)
• Retired v Tahiti in Canb. 31/11/96 (34 years old)
• Author of Captain Socceroo – the Paul Wade Story
345 games for Green Gully, Brunswick Juventus, South Melbourne & Canberra Cosmos.
1993 World Cup Qualifier Australia v Argentina (31 Oct)
Marked Diego Maradona. In Sydney (D1-1), in Buenos Aires (L1-0).
“Very Good! Paul was great, he fully engaged the audience in his passion for soccer and the success the Socceroos are having in the World Cup.”
Property Council of Australia
“He was a HUGE hit. Never before had I seen such a reaction to a guest speaker with people lined up for autographs and photos. He certainly made our event for us! His speech was funny, educational and more than anything inspirational. He appealed to everyone, whether they knew about soccer or not. His speech was funny and yet at the same time he made some very poignant reminders about life and the way we should approach it. In a relaxed way Paul was also able to inspire us all to do better in particular in our chosen fields.”
Paul was a great entertainer. A very excitable man who gave us an insight into his dreams and goals. He was very inspirable.
Paul gave a very entertaining speech illustrated with a video outlining his career and he had many amusing anecdotes about the various famous personalities he had met in his travels. What I thought was especially pertinent was the way he related his success to his dedication to training & discipline
which applies to any endeavour, be it sport, business or one’s life. As one member of the audience remarked, he is truly a legend.
Builders Service Contractors Association
“Paul Wade was brilliant. He had to address an audience of boys and girls aged 6 to 18 plus their parents and teachers. During his entertaining address he reached every attendee with his humility, passion, wit and wisdom.”
Best Practice Pty Ltd