Queensland field umpire, Tom McArthur passed away suddenly on Friday June 15. Tom was a good friend of the AFLUA and all umpires. In Queensland his career was without peer.
Tom was one of only 14 umpires who have been inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame since its inception in 1996. He was in Melbourne three weeks ago at the Hall of Fame dinner that he was so proud to be a part off.
Tom played 58 senior games as an on-baller/wingman until a car accident in 1958 ended his playing career, aged 20 before he took up umpiring. Tom umpired 502 state league senior matches, a record that many believe will not be surpassed. He umpired 7 AFLQ grand finals and sat as the emergency field umpire in another 7. He was appointed to 10 interstate games. Tom retired from umpiring in 1985 due to a bad back.
Tom was awarded many accolades in his career including AFLQ Umpires Association Team of the Century 1904-2003. He was selected as the field umpire in the AFLQ football team of the century in 2003 and in 2008 became the first resident Queenslander inducted into the Australian Football Hall of Fame.
Tom served as the President of the AFLQ Umpires Association for three years between 1966 and 1968. He was bestowed with Life Membership in 1967. He was a mentor to generations of umpires in Queensland.
Tom was the AFLUA guest of honour at our Queensland luncheon last year and was looking forward to attending this year’s luncheon in July.
All AFL umpires will wear black armbands this weekend to recognise Tom’s contribution to umpiring.