Now that I have your undivided attention, there have been fourteen families who have had father / son or father / son / son follow them into VFL/AFL umpiring since 1913.

It was the Gavin Dore, Cameron Dore father / son scenario that pricked my interest and our historian David Flegg quickly filled in the gaps.

Probably the most famous umpiring family is the father / son combination of the McMurray’s. Jack Snr and Jack Jnr.  Jack McMurray Snr (father) umpired between 1917 and 1936.  He umpired 303 games including 23 finals and 5 grand finals.  He is an AFL life member and member of the Australian Football Hall of Fame.  Jack’s son, Jack Jnr OAM commenced his VFL career in 1941 and umpired 216 games including 16 finals and 6 grand finals.  Jack Jnr was president of the VFLUA in 1952.  He retired in 1955 and is also a member of the Australian Football Hall of Fame.  Jack Jnr was also inducted as a legend in the Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame in 2005. Jack Jnr is a member of the AFLUA Hall of Fame.  They are both AFLUA Life Members.

Bill Deller OAM commenced his VFL career in 1967 and retired in 1981.  Bill umpired 251 VFL games including 20 finals and 5 grand finals.  Bill is also a member of the Australian Football Hall of Fame.  Bill is a Legend in the AFLUA Hall of Fame.  Bill’s son Gavin was elevated to the AFL panel in 1997 where he umpired 27 games until injuries force his retirement in 1998.

George Frood umpired 40 VFL matches between 1932 and 1940.  His son, John commenced his VFL career in 1954 umpiring 16 games until his retirement in 1957.

Henry Clayton (known commonly as Harry) was first appointed to the VFL panel as a field umpire.  He made his debut in 1941 umpiring 4 VFL senior games before retiring in 1946. Harry then returned to the VFL Panel in 1953 umpiring 46 games as a goal umpire including 2 finals and a grand final. Harry was president of the VFLUA in 1949.  Harry is a member of the AFLUA Hall of Fame.  Harry’s son, Ian was appointed to his first VFL game in 1980.  Ian umpired 106 senior games including 4 finals.  Ian was also a president of the VFLUA in 1988. Both father and son are life members of the AFLUA.

Ian Coates was first appointed to the VFL panel in 1968.  Ian umpired 94 games including 4 finals before being forced into retirement with MND in 1973.  Ian’s son Andrew commenced his VFL  umpiring career in 1989.  Andrew umpired 281 games including 20 finals and 2 grand finals.  Andrew is an AFL Life Member, AFLUA Life Member and member of the AFLUA Hall of Fame.  Andrew was president of the AFLUA for two years in 1999 and 2000.

Norm Grant BEM was a VFL goal umpire between 1949 and 1956.  He umpired 125 games which included 6 finals and a grand final. Grant’s two sons umpired VFL football also.  Bryan was a goal umpire between 1964 and 1969.  He umpired 97 games including 4 finals and a grand final.  The second son, Roly was a field umpire between 1962 and 1966 umpiring 31 senior VFL games.  Norm was president of the VFLUA in 1955.

Cliff Green was a boundary umpire between 1961 and 1972.  Cliff umpired 201 games including 7 finals and 2 grand finals. Cliff’s son Ian commenced his VFL career in 1986.  He umpired 236 games, 12 finals and 2 grand finals, retiring in 1999.  Both father and son are AFLUA Life Members.

Robert Hendrie from WA was the first interstate based AFL umpire who had is two sons, also from WA, make the AFL panel.  Rob was a goal umpire between 1989 and 1998.  He umpired 99 games including 4 finals.  Son, Wayne was also a goal umpire.  He was first appointed to the panel in 2000 and continued until work in the police force took him out of Perth and he retired in 2005.  Wayne umpired 56 games including 3 finals. Second son Craig was appointed to the field umpire panel in 2003 umpiring 69 games until his retirement in 2009.

Ernest Pawley was a field umpire in 1931.  He umpired 3 VFL games.  Ernest had two sons, Reg and Keith Pawley who both goal umpired VFL football.  Reg umpired between 1969 and 1976.  In that time, he officiated in 142 VFL games including 5 finals.  Keith umpired between 1967 and 1976 umpiring 172 games including 4 finals and a grand final. Both Reg and Keith are AFLUA life members.

Eric Brewer was a goal umpire in the VFL between 1977 and 1980 umpiring 67 games in that time period.  Enter son, Alan who also goal umpired and officiated in two games in 1990.

Des Fitzgerald and his son, Ross were both boundary umpires, Des umpired 312 games between 1955 and 1973, including 15 finals and 3 grand finals.  Ross umpired 40 games between 1980-81.  Des is an AFLUA Life Member and AFLUA Hall of Fame inductee.

Reginald Treloar and his son William formed a unique combination.  Reg umpired 247 games including 24 finals and 8 grand finals between 1927 and 1943.  Reg was named as a goal umpire in the AFLUA Team of the Century.  Reg also boundary umpired 34 games between 1913 and 1920 including 6 finals and 2 grand finals.  He is an AFLUA life member and a member of the AFLUA Hall of Fame.  William commenced boundary umpiring in 1951 umpiring 155 games including 8 finals and 3 grand finals before retiring in 1960. William is also an AFLUA Life Member. 

It is also notable that Harry Beitzel, who umpired 153 VFL games and 1 grand final, was VFLUA president in 1956, is an AFLUA Life Member and Hall of Fame inductee, has a son Brad* who officiated in one VFL game in 1980 as a field umpire. 

*Brad was appointed to the game as a result of an industrial dispute when all senior VFL umpires tended their resignations.

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