Ken Innes

Ken InnesKen Innes ran the boundary in the VFL for a decade in a period where the grounds were heavy and there was no out of bounds on the full to bring the ball back towards hard chasing boundary umpires.

Born in Preston on 20 February 1929 Kenneth William Innes grew up in and around Parkdale and played football with Parkdale Amateurs (VAFA) and Cheltenham Football Clubs (Federal FL).

He began umpiring in the VFL Second Eighteen competition in 1949 and following his appointment to the 1951 and the 1952 Second Eighteens Grand Finals he was promoted to the VFL senior list for the 1953 season.

His first game was in round 1 at Victoria Park where Collingwood played South Melbourne and Bill Twomey kicked 9 goals and the following week he had South again and this time John Coleman kicked 10. Later in the season he umpired Geelong’s first loss in 27 matches.

Ken’s final VFL match was the only final to which he was appointed and it was a workout. The first half of the 1962 Second Semi-final was played at breakneck pace with only a point the difference at the half. The pace slackened in the second half and poor kicking for goal reduced the long runs for the boundary umpires.

When asked for memorable moments of his time on the boundary he recalled “1951 and 1952 VFL seconds Grand Finals and promotion to senior list. It was also running with great umpires like McMurray, Nash and Barbour.”

Over 10 seasons Ken umpired 145 VFL matches. He was made a life member of the VFLUA in 1963.

Ken Innes passed away on 2 April 2016, aged 87.

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