Season 1962 was the most successful for Len Eddy. That year he became president of the VFLUA and umpired his first two VCFL grand finals. The secretary of the day, Mark Turner noted ‘In his year as chief administrator his fine influence on association affairs made the season a most harmonious one and due in no small part to Len’s diplomatic and tactful leadership.’
Born Leonard John Eddy in North Fitzroy on 27 November 1928 he grew up there playing football for Collingwood Technical School as well as being a successful local cricketer and baseballer.
Taking up umpiring with the VFL Reserve Grade in 1947 he earned promotion to the VFL senior list for 1950 and this first season included a single Reserve Grade match. His first VCFL final was in 1951 and for the remainder of his career his only missed a finals appointment in one season. His three grand finals came in his final two years: the 1962 Mount Noorat and Mid-Murray league and 1963 Coreen league grand finals. They were part of a VCFL career that included 240 matches (31 finals), add in 6 VFL Reserve Grade, 5 Metropolitan League and 3 Tasmanian matches and Len umpired 254 matches in 14 seasons.
Len ran for and was elected to the Social Committee in 1957 and served for three years before being elected to junior vice-president in 1960 and ultimately progressing to president in 1962. Having achieved life membership in 1960 his executive service was further rewarded with a Lifetime Achievement (Special) Award in 1964 and induction in to the AFLUA Hall of Fame in 2008.
Along with an East Malvern v. Springvale 2 point victory to East Malvern his service on the executive and particularly his year as president remained his most memorable events of his long career.
Departing the VFL list at the end of 1963 Len returned to the Reserve Grade as a goal umpire until 1971 before taking on the role of umpires’ advisor at the Essendon District Football League from 1972-78.
Len passed away peacefully at Cabrini Hospital on Thursday 26 October 2017.