After six years at the elite level of AFL football, Alistair “Molly” Meldrum has announced his retirement from umpiring AFL football.
Alistair joined the AFL list in 2016 and was fortunate to have two experienced colleagues on the list – Tristan Symes and Shaun Apted who helped him settle in up in Queensland. He umpired his first AFL game on the Gold Coast on 23 April 2016 with North Melbourne beating Gold Coast by 38 points. He became the 343rd goal umpire to officiate in a VFL/AFL match.
His credentials speak for themselves – prior to joining the AFL, he umpired the NEAFL Grand Finals in 2014 and 2015 and was awarded the Queensland Goal Umpire of the Year in both 2014 and 2015. Other highlights in his career include the NEAFL Northern Conference Finals in 2012 and 2013.
With Tristan and Shaun’s retirements in 2019, Alistair became the ‘father figure’ to two new goal umpires – Jesse Baird and Matthew Bridges. In 2020, when Queensland became the Hub for AFL football, Alistair welcomed umpires from interstate and helped them climatise to the Queensland way of life.
AFL Goal Umpires Coach Chris Appleton was quick to acknowledge Alistair’s contribution to AFL football. “Molly has been a wonderful member of the group to coach. His honesty in self-assessment and work rate off the field ensured he gave himself every opportunity to be the best umpire he could be.”
Chris continued, “Alistair has been a popular member amongst the group for his team oriented and selfless nature, two characteristics that in my view, matter more than anything else in one’s legacy.”
For the record, Alistair umpired 75 AFL games and was Queensland AFLUA State Representative in 2020 and 2021.
Congratulations Alistair for your service to our great game. We wish you all the best in the years ahead.