Bill Terrill’s most memorable moment as a VFL umpire didn’t come on the field, it came in 1955 after a Farrer League final. Bill was sitting in the kitchen of the Gloucester Hotel in Albury about 7.30pm after the final eating his dinner when he was introduced to a most attractive young lady, Adeline Lester. “I married her in March 1956. Some old aunties said it would never last. Sixty one years later we are still going strong,” recalled Bill with a great smile in 2017. Jim Rowe, also an AFLUA life member was best man at their wedding.
William Howard Terrill was born 18 October 1921 at Blackwood and grew up there and Trentham before joining the RAAF aged 19 in 1941. Joined RAAF at 19. He played football with Trentham and in RAAF but “Only got a game when the good players had the ‘flu.'”
As part of the British Commonwealth Occupation Force he also ran the boundary in Japan for the Army and RAAF matches. Upon return to Australia and discharge from the forces he joined the VFL Second Eighteens as a field umpire between 1948-1950 when he was promoted to the VFL senior list.
Over the next 15 years he traversed Victoria, South Australia, NSW and Tasmania umpiring VCFL football. Other than meeting Adeline, season 1955 was also a big year as it was the only one he umpired Second Eighteen football.
Bill joined the Social Committee in 1954 and then went onto the Executive Committee between 1955 and 1956. As president in 1959 his conduct of business at executive, general and, as an invitee at social committee, meetings was praised and was due to a high degree of organisation and preparation. This expedience was much valued by members and the committee.
Awarded life membership in 1960, Bill received a lifetime achievement award in 1962 and was an inaugural member of the AFLUA Hall of Fame in 2008.
Added up Bill’s contribution to football and umpiring in Victoria was extensive. On the field 5 VFL Second Eighteen, 218 VCFL matches including 3 grand finals, 6 Metropolitan and 3 Tasmanian matches .Off the field he held office for six years. In 1964 Bill returned to the VFL Reserve Grade until he retired again in 1971, this time as a goal umpire.
Bill was a regular attendee at our Mornington lunches for X-umpires and until just before his death always organised the very popular, Bill Terrill Christmas function at the Queensberry Hotel in Carlton.
Bill passed away on February 19, aged 96.