He came to the VFL Senior List with the nickname ‘Spider’, one apparently bestowed upon him by his team mates from Mansfield Football Club, and for eleven seasons umpired country football for the VFL.
Kevin Joseph Doolan was born on 4 April 1929 and began umpiring in 1956. He joined the VFL Senior list from the VFL Second Eighteens in 1958.
His career began in the Bass Valley where his first match was Inverloch-Kongwak hosting Glen Alvie. The competition for finals on a list as large as the VFL in those days was intense and it was 1962 before Spider handled his first – the Omeo and District Second Semi at Swifts Creek.
ater finals appearances culminated with a series of Grand Finals towards the end of his career. These included his most memorable match; the 1967 drawn Grand Final between Mangoplah-Cookardinia United and Collingulie in the Farrar League. As he remembered later, “A most unusual event between two great sounding teams.” The previous week he had umpired the Upper Murray Football League Grand final and before that the Southern Mallee Second-Semi making it his most successful season. That year he was also a member of the Social Committee.
One of the Association’s great characters Spider was a regular player with the VFLUA footy side and starred in several matches against the Pentridge Gaol All Stars. A fearsome sight coming off the half-back line, he was voted BOG on several occasions.
Kevin was awarded Life Membership in 1968 and retired at the end of that season.
In later life he moved to Queensland where recently he was a regular attendee at the Queensland Annual Dinner.
Kevin, aged 79, passed away on 8 November 2008.