Ray Fisher had two stints as an umpire with the VFL Reserve Grade and sandwiched between those stints was a ten season-career on the VFL Senior List.
Born Raymond Gordon Fisher on 22 June 1933 Ray began umpiring in 1957 with the VFL Reserve Grade and was a member of their Executive Committee in 1960. He joined the VFL Senior List in 1964 and his first match was at Wilby in the Benalla-Tungamah League.
Over the ensuing years he followed the usual pattern of country umpiring of ‘A’, ‘B’, and ‘C’ grade leagues as his experience built. In addition to VCFL matches Ray was also a regular mid-week umpire for his entire time on the list, accumulating 78 matches.
Finals success first came in 1968 when he was appointed to the First-semi finals of both the Farrar and Picola leagues in successive weeks.
The following year was his most successful yielding 17 home and away matches, finals in the Barellan, Sunraysia and Picola leagues and, most significantly, his only senior list Grand Final – Yanco defeating Hay at Barellan.
Four finals in 1971 were his last but Ray carried on across the country until retiring at the end of the 1973 season. He received Life Membership of the VFLUA for his ten seasons and finished with a total 176 VCFL matches.
In 1976 ‘The Fish’ rejoined the VFL Reserve Grade as a goal umpire and finally retired from VFL commitments in 1981. He was closely involved with the Executive Committee during this time as Senior Vice-President in 1979 and succeeding to the Presidency of the association in 1980.
Ray Fisher passed away on 12 July after a long illness.