This is the AFLUA’s most prestigious award as it recognises both on-field performance and off-field commitment to the AFLUA. The specific criteria for this award is:
- achieving on field success
- actively contributing to, and supporting, the AFLUA
- role modelling the attributes of commitment, loyalty and dedication
Struck in 2000, this award is named in recognition of Murray Williams who, throughout his career, consistently demonstrated those qualities that form the criteria against which this award is judged.
Murray Williams umpired 320 VFL matches including 25 finals of which four were grand finals, 1970, 1974, 1978 and 1981. In addition, Murray umpired a record nine preliminary finals, officiating in finals series matches in 14 of the 17 seasons that he was on the VFL list.
He was appointed to the VFL list in 1969 and officiated at his first senior VFL match on the 12th of April that year – Heritage Number 330. Murray retired after the 1985 season.
Although not inclined to seek or hold office, Murray was a fierce and loyal association man. He was a member every year that he was on the list and always supported the association socially. He took a keen interest in the association’s affairs, rarely missed a general meeting or annual general meeting, and was prepared at all times to put a point of view and fearlessly pursue what he thought was right. He was awarded life membership in 1979.
In 2002, Murray received the ultimate accolade by being selected in the AFLUA “Team of the Century”, an honour he richly deserved.
He continued his long and outstanding service to umpiring as the Victorian state coach of AFL Boundary Umpires.
Throughout a magnificent career, Murray Williams has demonstrated in a humble and selfless manner, all of the qualities that typify this award and it is fitting that it is named the Murray Williams Shield in recognition of his outstanding service and achievements.