John Geggie

John Geggie joined the senior VFL list in 1954, having been promoted from the VFL Reserve Grade list after umpiring the 1953 Grand Final in that competition. He began his career at the Western Oval in round one of that year when Footscray suffered defeat at the hands of St.Kilda.

John was so impressive in that first season that he was appointed to his first finals series. His introduction to the finals was torrid with multiple reports before the opening bounce.

The following year Geggie went straight to the Grand Final after having umpired the almost regulation 13 out of 18 home and away rounds.

The Grand Final was played in wet conditions and was low scoring as a result. The sensation of the final series occurred close to Geggie when Des Healy and Frank ‘Bluey’ Adams collided, resulting in both being stretchered from the field unconscious, and leaving field umpire Harry Beitzel, Geggie and his partner Bill Treloar to sort out an ugly melee that resulted.

Geggie’s success continued as the years rolled on. He participated in every finals series from 1954 to 1964 and, in that time, added three more Grand Finals to his tally:

  • 1957 Melbourne v. Essendon;
  • 1960 Melbourne v Collingwood;
  • and 1962 Essendon v. Carlton.

Perhaps 1960 provided the least effort returning the ball to the middle with only eight goals scored for the match (Collingwood managed two for the match). But, it was tough slogging through the mire that was the MCG on that day after two days of torrential rain.

Geggie retired at the close of the home and away matches of the 1968 season with 234 VFL matches to his credit, which included 16 night series matches. He also umpired four interstate matches including being appointed to the 1958 Centenary of Football Carnival. Geggie became a Life Member of the VFLUA in 1964.