Jack Deery umpired 71 VFL matches during his six seasons on the VFL list of boundary umpire
Born John Francis Deery in Bairnsdale on 30 January 1923 he grew up in Johnsonville, Swan Reach and Gippsland before moving to Melbourne as a teenager.
He played football at St.Kilda CYMS but his first passion was running. As a professional he competed in both Bairnsdale and Melbourne.
Beginning umpiring, like so many boundary umpires, to assist with his pro-running he joined the VFL Second Eighteens in 1944 while still serving in the Volunteer Defence Corps and the following year was promoted to the VFL senior list of boundary umpires.
Glenferrie Oval was the scene of Jack’s VFL debut in round 2, 1945. He earned Heritage Number 271 as the home team easily beat Carlton.
The most remarkable game in his first three seasons would have been Melbourne’s visit to St.Kilda’s Junction Oval in 1947. The difference at the end was a 93 point win to the visitors but the fact that Demon full-forward Fred Fanning kicked the VFL record of 18 goals in the match (from 19 shots) stands it out.
Injured at the start of the 1948 season he returned by July and ran out the year. In 1949 he umpired until round 14 before being injured again.
Jack’s final season with the VFL was 1950. That year he umpired 12 matches taking his career total to 71 in 6 seasons.
John Deery passed away on 22 January 2014.