Family was an important influence in the umpiring career of Jack Frood. His father, George, had umpired 40 matches in the VFL as a senior field umpire from 1932 to 1936 making them one of only five father-son combinations to do so. He was also drawn into umpiring by his father-in-law, Harry Harris, and umpired with his brother-in-law, VFL boundary umpire Keith Harris.
John William Frood was born in Coburg on 27 September 1927 and grew up in Melbourne’s northern suburbs. He played football and cricket with the Pascoe Vale Football and Cricket Clubs before taking up the boundary with the VFL Reserve Grade. Soon after he transferred to the field and in 1950 was promoted to the VFL Senior list.
Following the usual VFL apprenticeship in the country and, by that time VFL Reserve Grade football, Jack made his senior VFL debut on 24 April 1954 at Princes Park when Carlton hosted Melbourne, with the Demons victorious. The appointment made Jack the 219th field umpire in VFL history.
Over the next four years Jack was an intermittent VFL senior umpire with two matches in 1954, nine in 1955, four in 1956 and three in 1957. His final senior match was the night series semi-final between Carlton and South Melbourne at the Lake Oval.
Jack’s entire VFL career was made up of 18 VFL, 48 VFL Reserve Grade, 183 VCFL (13 Grand Finals), 29 Tasmanian (2 NWFU Grand Finals), 1 ACTFL Grand Final and 1 Broken Hill Semi-final.
In 1963 he moved onto the VFA and then to suburban competitions in Melbourne’s north before giving up the whistle. He later took on the team manager’s role for his son Darryl’s football side and was also involved in the Mill Park Recycled Teenagers Services Club as both Committee Member and President
Jack passed away at Heidelberg Repatriation Hospital on 16 November 2004 at after a long illness.