Vic Henderson

HendersonVic Henderson came to umpiring later than most but once he started he was committed and made the most of the time of his involvement.

Born Victor Edward Henderson in Melbourne on 19 February 1919 he grew up in Essendon and played football for Dons Rovers in the Essendon District league. Later he played a season of rugby with Footscray before joining the VFL Second Eighteens as a boundary umpire in 1948, aged 29.

After three years on the boundary he transferred to the field for the 1952-54 seasons and was promoted to the VFL senior list in 1955. When he walked out onto the ground at Coldstream for his first senior list game Vic was 36 years old. However in the eyes of the VFL he was five years younger, the birth year on his official card states 1924.

Vic made the most of whatever time he had and ultimately managed to umpire until 1966. In that time he officiated in six VCFL finals, four reserves, on thirds and a single senior final, the 1965 Southern Mallee Second Semi-final. At the end of his career he still noted two matches from his days in the Second Eighteens as his most memorable, a preliminary final in the Federal league and a grand final in the Croydon Mail competition.

After 11 seasons Vic retired from the VFL at the end of the 1966 season having umpired 193 VCFL and 11 Metropolitan league matches but his umpiring career was only half over. He moved to the Southern Umpires for 1967 as a field umpire and after a year off became a goal umpire in the West Gippsland Football League where he had umpired 10 matches as a VFL field umpire. Vic finally hung up the boots in 1982 at the age of 63.

Umpiring was in his blood and as an AFLUA life member from 1965 Vic was still attending association functions well into his late nineties.

Vic Henderson passed away on 7 August 2015, aged 96.