Bill Caddy


Renowned as the last VFL senior list umpire to punch the ball into the ground rather than bounce it in the modern manner Bill Caddy umpired almost three hundred matches as a country field and VFL goal umpire in a career that spanned fourteen seasons.

Born on 30 January 1919 in the Melbourne suburb of Fitzroy, William Francis Caddy came to the VFL in 1946 following his discharge from service in the Army Signals Corps. Beginning his career on the senior list Bill was immediately successful. In his first season he umpired six VCFL finals; two in the Murray League, two in the Echuca League and one each in the Tyrrell and Ovens and King Leagues.

In the ensuing decade Bill field umpired 248 country and metropolitan matches including a remarkable twenty-two Grand Finals. His final season in the field saw him umpire the Hampden League Grand Final between Terang and Colac. He was awarded VFLUA Life Membership for 10 years service in 1956.

Retiring from field umpiring after the 1955 season Bill took up the goals in the VFL Second Eighteen Umpires Association. After umpiring the 1958 VFL Second Eighteen Grand Final he was promoted to VFL senior list the following season.

On 2 May 1959 Bill earned Heritage Number 138 when he umpired his first VFL senior match, Hawthorn versus Geelong. From 1959 to round three 1962 he compiled a career total of 47 matches which included the 1960 Night Grand Final. His biggest crowd of 81 089 at the MCG in 1960 was a far cry from many small country venues of his early career in the field.

In 1966 Bill was one of the first group of former VFL field umpires to be appointed as official country observers. It was a position he held for two seasons.

Bill Caddy passed away on 8 July 2008 aged 89 after a long illness .