Two current Hall of Fame members were elevated to legend status and nine new members were inducted into the AFLUA Hall of Fame at a gala event attended by 200 current umpires, Life members and their guests at Melbourne’s Park Hyatt Hotel on Monday June 29. 

AFLUA President Chris Kamolins observed in his welcome that of the 1,328 umpires who have officiated in the VFL/AFL since it’s inception only 107 members have been inducted and 5 members elevated to legend status.

“It is truly a unique group of people who have investing many years into their careers as umpires, and to the association that supports them.





David Howlett officiated in 302 AFL games including 14 finals and the 1994 grand final between 1982 and 2001. 

David was named All Australian field umpire in 1994. The same year he was voted the winner of the Bishop Shield by his peers.

While a running umpire, David served on the social committee for 2 years, on the executive committee for 3 years.  He became president in 1989 and secretary in 1990.  David was made a life member of the association in 1991 and received the lifetime achievement award in 1992.

Following David’s retirement in 2001 he was elected president in 2002 and held that office until the end of 2010.

David is elevated to legend status tonight because of his 17 years of elected and dedicated service to the association.  Ten of those years as president.




Bill Deller came into umpiring through some mates who thought it would be a good past time.  He was promoted to the senior VFL list in 1965 when ironically, two other AFLUA legends, Mark Turner and Pat McGough held executive positions.

Bill umpired 251 VFL matches 20 finals and 5 grand finals before he retired to become the VFL/AFL Director of Umpiring in 1982.

Bill was the first recipient of the Bishop Shield in 1976.   He was awarded life membership in 1975.  He was elected to the position of Junior Vice president of the VFLAUA in 1972, became senior vice president in 1973 and ascended to the presidency in 1974.  He was a member of the executive committee in 1976 and ’77. 

Bill was awarded a lifetime achievement award in 1980 in recognition of his work for the association.

Bill came back to the association as its CEO in 2004 until his retirement in 2011. 

Bill has been elevated to legend status for his exemplary service for the association over his lifetime.  For his tireless work over and above his professional duties to ensure that the umpires who follow him have better conditions and a more professional organisation than those who went before him.





Ian began his umpiring career as a boundary umpire with the East Brighton football club in 1959.  Ian enjoyed it so much he joined the South East suburban football league as a field umpire in 1963.  He progressed to the VFL reserve grade in 1965 before being promoted to the VFL senior list in 1969.

Ian umpired for the next 13 years amassing 258 VCFL games including 49 finals and 8 grand finals.  Ian umpired 4 VFL reserves matches.

Ian was the VFLUA treasurer for three years from 1975 to the end of 1977. Which also included being treasurer for the South Australian trip.  He became an executive member in 1978.

Ian was elected as a life member in 1978.

Ian is a great storyteller and is still an active member of the association attending Morning luncheons and AFLUA functions.




Brett Allen umpired 347 AFL games between 1992 and 2007.  This total included 37 finals and 7 AFL grand finals.  Brett is 9th on all time on the list of VFL/AFL games umpired and 3rd for the number of grand finals.  He umpired an AFL final every 9 games.  Brett was inducted as an AFLUA grand Final legend in 2012.

Brett commenced his umpiring career with the Geelong Umpires League for some pocket money aged 16 because he was too light to play under 18 football.

He was named All Australian umpire four times, in 1999, 2000, 2002 and 2006.  He umpired the Australia v Ireland tests in 2000 and 2001.

Brett was elected an AFLUA life member in 1997 and was a member of the AFLUA for 20 years.



Matthew commenced his umpiring career with the Bendigo umpires in 1987 where he umpired until joining the VFL panel in 1991.

Matthew started his 14-year career as an AFL boundary umpire in 1995.  Matthew umpired 300 AFL games including 22 finals and 2 grand finals, in 2001 and 2003.

He was an AFLUA executive committee member for three years.  Matthew’s 300 games put him 8th of all time for boundary umpires.

Matthew was elected as an AFLUA life member in 2004.  He is a three time recipient of the Murray Williams Shield as voted by his peers as the best AFL boundary umpire for on and off field achievement.





Gordon was a late conscript to umpiring.  He played senior football in the Essendon District Football League before taking up boundary umpiring at the age of 24.  Gordon was appointed to the AFL panel in 1998 aged 28.

He umpired 204 games, which included 22 finals, and 4 grand finals in a row from 2002 until 2005.  Coupled with his 4 grand finals, were 6 preliminary finals. Gordon made every moment count before retiring aged 38.

Gordon also umpired three pre-season grand finals.  He was appointed to travel to London in 2000 with another inductee, Michael Bell.

Gordon understood football and was an elite athlete.  He was the All-Australian boundary umpire in 2005.  Gordon was inducted as an AFLUA Grand Final Legend in 2013.




Scott McLaren umpired 365 AFL games including 34 finals and 5 grand finals.  Scott sits 6th for the total number of AFL games umpired all time and in the top five for finals and grand finals umpired.

Scott was the All-Australian field umpire in 2001.  The same year he became a life member of the association.

He holds the record for the most consecutive senior games umpired.  He umpired 177 games from round 13 1988 until round 13 2006.

Scott won the Bishop Shield in 2004, voted by his peers as the best field umpire on the panel.



Colin commenced his goal-umpiring career in the LaTrobe Valley Football League in 1985.  He was promoted to the VFL panel in 1988, where he umpired 311 AFL games in a 21-year career that puts him 5th in the all time list of VFL AFL games umpired by a goal umpire.

Colin umpired 13 finals, including the 1994 grand final.

Colin was elected to AFLUA life membership in 1997.  He was a member of the social committee in 1991 and a member of the executive committee for five years between 1991 and 1995.

Colin now joins his brother Brian as the 3rd set of brothers to be inducted into the AFLUA Hall of Fame.  The Hoods, join the Pawley and Gilham brothers who were inducted in 2008.




Frank began umpiring in 1960 after attending an information night conducted by the then VFL umpire advisor, Bill Blackburn.

Frank was elevated to the VFL senior list in 1962 where he umpired around country Victoria until his retirement in 1975.

Frank was elected to serve on the executive committee for four years and spent a further two as the assistant secretary.

He was the inaugural secretary/treasurer of the VFLUA golf club that catered for many umpires that formed part of the social fabric of the VFLUA in that time.

Frank was elected as a life member of the VFLUA in 1972.

Frank passed away in 2013.  Frank’s wife, Merlene and daughter Cathy were in attendance to accept the award on Frank’s behalf.



Michael Bell started his umpiring career as a 15 year old in the Eastern Football League.  He was promoted to the VFL in 1993 and umpired his first AFL match in 1996.

Michael went on to umpire 217 AFL games including 13 finals.  Except for his first season on the list, Michael umpired at least one final in each of his 11-year career.

Michael won the Murray Williams Shield three times, voted by his peers as the best umpire on the AFL panel for both his on-field performances and his off-field commitment to the association.

Michael was an association executive member for three years between 2003 and 2005.  He was elected as a life member in 2005.



Darren Goldspink commenced his VFL umpiring career in 1984 that spaned 23 years until his retirement in 2007.

Darren officiated in 371 VFL/AFL matches including 37 finals and 6 grand Finals, placing him 5th of all time in AFL games umpired.

Darren was All Australian field umpire in 1993, 95 and 2005.  He won the Bishop Shield as voted by his peers as the best field umpire in 2000 and 2001.

Darren was a member of the executive committee in 2000 and President of the AFLUA in 2001.

The AFLUA congratulates all of it’s new inductees and makes special note of the two men who are elevated as Legends of the association.

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