Best in both worlds
In the history of the Victorian / Australian Football Leagues 85 players have taken up the whistle or the flags and officiated in VFL / AFL matches as umpires.
The most recent is David Rodan who played 185 games with Richmond, Port Adelaide and Melbourne. from 2002-13. He officiated the North Melbourne v. Fremantle clash at the Docklands in July 2017 to cap off a quick rise through the umpiring ranks.
Rodan took up umpiring in late-2015 after retiring from the AFL and while playing suburban football. He progressed to the AFL senior panel in only his second full season.
Listed below are the details of all other player/umpires and their playing and umpiring careers to 2016. Photo: Vic Belcher in South Melbourne uniform
|As player||As umpire|
|Player / Umpire||Years||Matches||Years||Matches|
|Roy Allen (Coll.)||1924||2||1931-1953||214|
|Jordan Bannister (Ess./Carl.)||2001-09||67||2012-16||95|
|Thomas Bates (Ess.)||1933||1||1939-43||13|
|‘Tammy’ Beauchamp (Fitz.)||1899-1908||135||1909||12|
|John W. Beckwith (Fitz.)||1918||1||1928-29||22|
|Vic Belcher (SM)||1907-20||226||1921-30||17|
|Albert Bickford (Melb./Carl.)||1906-09||11||1921||1|
|William Blair (Geel.)||1935||2||1940-45||41|
|Max Blumfield (SM)||1943-46||21||1951-54||37|
|Robert Boyle (Carl.)||1904-06||36||1907-17||74|
|William Bremner (Melb.)||1903-04||23||1910-12||21|
|William Briscoe (Rich.)||1915||26||1926-29||51|
|Charles Canet (Carl.)||1916-21||80||1931||7|
|Vernon Carkeek (Coll.)||1915-16||3||1922||1|
|Etienne Chapman (Carl.)||1897-98||25||1902-13||160|
|William Coffey (Ess.)||1918||1||1926-29||33|
|Edward Collins (St.K.)||1913-21||78||1922-30||8|
|Robert Corbett (Melb.)||1920-29||161||1931-33||40|
|Thomas Craven (Geel.)||1915-24||90||1931||2|
|Charles Curtis (Carl.)||1898-1900||21||1910||3|
|David J. Davidson (SM / Melb.)||1898-1900||18||1906||1|
|William Davies (Ess.)||1905-09||76||1912-27||205|
|Laurence Delaney (St.K.)||1901||2||1915-18||9|
|Edward Drohan (Fitz. / Coll.)||1898-1908||173||1909||17|
|Herbert Dummett (Coll.)||1909-11||4||1927-45||264|
|Percy Ellingsen (Rich. / Melb. / Gee.)||1912-19||45||1931-33||53|
|Leigh Fisher (St.K.)||2003-08||55||2013-19||135|
|Charles Foletta (Fitz.)||1899||5||1913-15||31|
|Mark Fraser (Coll./Ess.)||1992-2000||110||2005||5|
|Richard Gibson (SM)||1897-98||29||1899-1909||105|
|Alfred George Green (Coll.)||1903-08||76||1910-20||60|
|William Griffiths (Fitz./SM)||1903-04||17||1911-13||20|
|Edward H. Hall (St.K)||1897-1903||80||1900||1|
|Charlie Hammond (Carl.)||1906-18||154||1921||11|
|Henry Hardiman (NM)||1935-38||6||1944-48||69|
|George Hastings (Ess.)||1897-1903||106||1905-10||84|
|Clarence Hearn (Ess.)||1929-35||92||1937||12|
|Neville Heffernan (NM)||1929-30||6||1931-35||67|
|Hugh Heron (Ess. / Fitz.)||1912-13||12||1914-26||120|
|Arthur Hiskins (SM)||1908-23||185||1930-33||52|
|Ernest Jenkins (Fitz.)||1897-1910||182||1920-27||133|
|Harold F. Johnston (NM)||1925-27||37||1930||5|
|Percy Jory (St.K)||1912-1920||60||1925-42||128|
|Patrick Kennedy (St.K.)||1918-21||11||1925-31||76|
|Harold Lampe (SM)||1899-1907||135||1909||7|
|Phillip Lane (Fitz.)||1932||1||1943-46||26|
|William Leeds (Carl.)||1903-05||27||1904||5|
|Michael Madden (Ess.)||1903-06||65||1923-29||93|
|Vincent Maguire (Geel.)||1915-18||43||1923-24||7|
|Richard McKay (Fitz. / St.K.)||1897-1903||96||1915-23||88|
|William McNamara (Carl.)||1899-1904||69||1905-15||104|
|Keith Millar (Rich.)||1924-30||37||1936||3|
|Rowland Millen (Fitz.)||1913-23||117||1929||1|
|Michael Minahan (SM / St.K.)||1897-1900||29||1902-15||172|
|Jack Monohan (Coll.)||1897-1907||171||1913-26||181|
|William Moxham (SM)||1907-09||29||1913-19||25|
|Alex Mutch (Coll.)||1911-21||144||1923-27||46|
|Wally Naismith (Fitz./Melb.)||1902-12||178||1915-28||215|
|Howard Okey (Ess.)||1928-34||109||1936||9|
|John O’Loughlin (Gee. / St.K.)||1898-1902||25||1904-10||91|
|William Orchard (Gee.)||1906-15||112||1923-26||14|
|Albert Pannam (Coll.)||1907-09||28||1914-21||12|
|G.V. ‘Mick’ Pleass (SM / Ess.)||1897-1904||113||1902||2|
|Les Reynolds (St.K)||1922-24||30||1929||3|
|David Rodan (Rich./PA/Melb.)||2002-13||185||2017-19||27|
|Henry Rowe (Melb.)||1945-46||2||1951-55||16|
|George Sandford (St.K)||1901-02||11||1904-13||83|
|Edward Sanneman (St.K.)||1922-31||72||1936-41||43|
|Ernest Schunke (Rich.)||1909||6||1904||11|
|Miles Sellers (Haw.)||1925-34||98||1944-52||131|
|James Shand (Rich.)||1916-19||40||1930||4|
|George ‘Yorkie’ Shaw (Fitz.)||1911-20||117||1923||2|
|Edward Shorten (NM/Ess.)||1925-26||11||1930-49||156|
|Frederick Sigmont (SM)||1897||6||1908-15||108|
|James Smith (St.K)||1899-1908||127||1907-10||35|
|Albert Streckfuss (SM)||1909-1910||18||1921-30||110|
|George Threlfall (Rich.)||1919-24||8||1929-31||22|
|George Topping (Carl.)||1902-16||125||1913||3|
|‘Lardie’ Tulloch (Coll.)||1897-1904||132||1905-11||77|
|Fred Turnbull (St.K.)||1918||1||1923||1|
|William Twomey (Coll./Haw.)||1918-34||64||1933||3|
|Richard Vernon (Coll.)||1909-11||51||1912||4|
|Herbert Wregg (Melb.)||1901||3||1905-08||68|
Albert played two games for Richmond in 1912 kicking three goals in total. In 1915 he joined the VFL umpires for a single season and umpired two matches as a boundary umpire. Wikipedia
As well as being a VFL player, Allen was fine District cricketer and athlete. He is one of only a few umpires to have officiated as field, boundary and goal umpire at senior level. He excelled as a goal umpire, officiating in 209 matches, including the 1950 and 1953 Grand Finals. Allen, who passed away in 2001, aged 100, will always be remembered for his reporting of John Coleman and Harry Caspar in the final Home and Away round of 1951. The resultant penalty to Coleman put him, and many say Essendon, out of premiership contention. Wikipedia
Jordan Bannister who played 14 games with the Bombers from 2001-03 and 53 games with the Blues from 2004-09. He officiated the North Melbourne v. Essendon clash at the Docklands in March 2012 to cap off a quick rise through the umpiring ranks and retired at the end of the 2016 season.
Bannister took up umpiring in 2010, immediately after retiring from the game, and progressed to the AFL senior panel in only his third season. Wikipedia
Thomas ‘Jimmy’ Bates played one match with Essendon in 1933 before becoming a VFL boundary umpire and officiating in 13 matches between 1939-43. Wikipedia
A great centreman for Fitzroy at the turn of the century, he umpired until 1912 and also officiated 12 matches as a field or boundary umpire. Wikipedia
Father of the famous Melbourne back-pocket player, John W. was recruited from Clifton Hill and played one match for Fitzroy in 1918. Ten years later he officiated in 22 VFL matches as a boundary umpire, including the 1929 Grand Final. Wikipedia
Recruited from Brunswick (VFA), Vic Belcher is the only player to have been included in two of South Melbourne’s premierships. A ruckman of some distinction he played in the successful 1909 team and, by all accounts, was instrumental in the 1918 Grand Final win. He was club captain twice and coach from 1914-1917. After retirement, he took up the boundary for the 1921 season but ,despite umpiring the Grand Final, retired after one season. He tasted further premiership success as non-playing coach of the 1922 Fitzroy side. He later made a comeback to the boundary by trialing in 1929 and umpiring one match in 1930. Wikipedia
Primarily a country field umpire (120 matches) Albert was appointed to a single VFL match on the boundary in 1921. He had played 2 matches for Melbourne and 9 for Carlton in four years. Wikipedia
Blair umpired 41 matches as a VFL boundary umpire between 1940 and 1945. He had played two matches for Geelong in 1935 after coming from Ouyen. Wikipedia
The most recent player to make the change to umpiring. After leaving South Melbourne in 1946, he played for Prahran (VFA) and then began umpiring. His senior VFL career spanned four seasons and 37 matches. He is the uncle of AFL player Jason Blumfield. Wikipedia
After playing two games and kicking two goals for Essendon Jack Boyd became a VFL field umpire. From 1934-36 he umpired 41 matches as a field umpire and later, 1937-38, umpired in the North West Football Union.
Played in the centre for Carlton during their 1904 premiership, but missed out in 1906 and took up umpiring the following year. He umpired during the 1908 ANFC Carnival and was appointed to run the boundary in the 1916 VFL Grand Final but chose instead to field umpire a final in NSW.
Played 23 matches for Melbourne kicking 1 goal. Later became a boundary (15 matches) and field umpire (6 matches) with the VFL between 1910 and 1912
Briscoe played the entire 1915 season with Richmond and later reappeared as specialist VFL boundary umpire between 1926 and 1928. The following year he transferred to the goals for a single season
Charlie Canet created headlines in 1922 when he moved to coach Nathalia for 8 pounds a week. He had been a winger for Carlton playing 80 matches and kicking five goals. IN 1931 he umpired seven matches as a VFL boundary umpire.
Carkeek played three matches for the Magpies during the Great War. After the war he umpired one VFL match as a boundary umpire.
Chapman was a player in Carlton ‘s first two seasons in the VFL amassing 25 matches and seventeen goals. He had played for South St.Kilda and also Fitzroy in the VFA. In 1902 he became a VFL goal umpire and in his 160 matches between then and 1913 he was appointed to the 1907, 1911 and 1913 VFL Grand Finals.
Coffey’s one senior match for Essendon in 1918 was followed by 33 matches as a field umpire between 1926 and 1929. This included the 1927 Second Semi-Final.
Collins played on the wing for St.Kilda in the 1913 VFL Grand Final in his first senior season. He played 78 matches in total and was selected to play for Victoria but was injured before the match. Between 1922 and 1930 he umpired eight matches as a boundary umpire.
Recruited from Golden Point, Corbett represented Victoria in his ten seasons as a Melbourne player. In the 1926 Preliminary Final he was viciously king-hit while leaving the ground at half-time and suffered a broken jaw. With no replacements allowed Melbourne struggled to hold their lead in the second half until Corbett, swathed in bandages, returned to the fray to inspire the Redlegs to a spot in the Grand Final. He was unable to recover to play in the premiership. Two years after retiring as a player Corbett ran forty VFL matches on the boundary over three seasons – 1931-33.
Three-times a Victorian representative, Craven was an excellent full-back who still managed to kick 17 goals in 90 matches for Geelong. He was captain of the Cats in 1921-22. Craven officiated in two VFL matches as a boundary umpire in 1931.
One match as a field umpire and two as a boundary in 1910 followed a brief VFL career with Carlton at the turn of the century that involved 21 matches and two goals.
Umpired only one match as a Field Umpire but officiated in a further 44 matches as a Boundary Umpire, including the 1905 Grand Final.
Often incorrectly cited as ‘Davis’, Davies was a winger, originally from Yea, who played with Williamstown (VFA) before joining Essendon. Often amongst the best players in finals, he played in the ‘Dons 1908 Grand Final team. Umpired only two matches as a field umpire but officiated in a further 205 matches as a boundary umpire, including the 1913, 1923 and 1926 Grand Finals. As a player-umpire he was involved in 23 seasons of VFL football.
Lawrie Delaney played two matches for St.Kilda in 1901 . Fourteen years later, during the Great War he made his VFL debuts as both a field and boundary umpire ultimately umpiring nine VFL matches in total.
After being the first man to play in winning premierships with different teams – Fitzroy 1898-99 and Collingwood 1903 – this champion wingman umpired 17 VFL matches in 1909. 14 games as a field umpire and three on the boundary. In 1911 he coached St.Kilda to ninth position.
No former VFL player had such an extensive umpiring career as Dummett. Sixteen seasons after playing the last of his four matches with Collingwood (three goals) he debuted as a VFL goal umpire. From 1927 until 1945 he officiated in 264 matches including the 1933 and 1943 Grand Finals. In addition he was VFLUA President in 1939 and a member of the Executive Committee for five years.
Began his senior VFL career with Richmond as a 16 year old from the Geelong area and finished it with the Cats eight seasons later. He played in the VFA and, as the result of a report for striking, was suspended for a year. The sentence was removed as an act of clemency during a Royal visit. Eleven years later, Ellingsen umpired the First Semi-Final in his first season of senior umpiring.
Leigh Fisher had a delayed start to his first season due to injury but impressed towards the end of the 2003 season. Back and hamstring injuries plagued him during 2004-05 but from 200-07 he was a regular in the Saints team ultimately playing 55 games and kicking five goals. After being delisted in 2008 he decided to take up the AFL’s offer of the Player Pathway Program to umpiring. From 2010-2012 he umpired variously in the VAFA, Southern FL and the VFL. Listed in 2013 he umpired his first game that year and is currently a running umpire. In 2018 Fisher became the former player with the most games as a field umpire passing Richard Gibson.
A short man, Foletta played most of his football as a rover. He represented Collingwood in the VFA (1893) and Fitzroy in both the VFA (1894-96) and VFL (1899). He kicked 1 VFL goal. After leaving Fitzroy he played in consecutive premierships with East Fremantle (1902-03) and was Captain-Coach of Launceston City FC in 1907-08 for two premierships.
The son of Essendon captain, Ken Fraser, Mark starred in his first season with Collingwood but moved to Essendon in 1995. Unable to gain regular selection with the Bombers he retired in 2000 and was targeted by the AFL as a candidate for their Player to Umpire Acceleration program. He made his senior field umpiring debut in 2005.
Gibson was vice-captain of South Melbourne in his only two VFL seasons. He umpired 101 VFL matches in the field, including the 1903 Grand Final, making him the first former VFL player to umpire a VFL Grand Final. He also officiated in four matches on the boundary.
Green played in the Collingwood losing 1905 Grand Final side. His umpiring career began as a boundary umpire from 1910-1915 and included the 1911 Second Semi-Final. From 1917-1920 he was both a field and boundary umpire. His final game on the boundary was the 1918 Grand Final with his old team, Collingwood, on the losing side, once again.
Gregory played in Collingwood’s 1896 VFA premiership and in their first first match in the newly formed VFL the following year. Primarily a forward he kicked 17 goals in his 42 appearences. In 1908 the joined the VFL list of umpires. He umpired 31 VFL matches on the boundary and 14 country matches as a field umpire.
Nicknamed ‘Wingy’, Bill Griffiths played eight games and kicked two goals for Fitzroy in 1903 before transferring to South Melbourne the following season playing a further nine matches. As an umpire he officiated as a field umpire in one match in 1911 and nineteen matches as a boundary umpire between 1911 and 1913.
A St.Kilda player for the first three VFL seasons, Hall was noted as an opportunistic centreman. At the start of the 1900, season he decided to change to umpiring and was placed on the VFL list as available for selection. He was appointed to the Round 2 Collingwood v. Geelong match which he duly umpired but, prior the next round, decided to rejoin St.Kilda where he completed his career in 1903.
Charlie Hammond served in two stints for Carlton amassing 154 matches on the half back flank and in the ruck. A star in the 1908 Grand Final, he was a victim of politics and left the club for North Melbourne (VFA) before the next season. Returning in 1914, he was again successful, playing in the 1914-15 premiership sides. In one season as a VFL boundary umpire, he appeared in 11 matches.
Hardiman played matches in two seasons for North Melbourne kicking a total of six goals. Between 1944 and 1948 he was a VFL boundary umpire who compiled 69 matches.
As a skillful, flamboyant Essendon centreline player, Hastings played in the 1897 and 1901 premiership teams. Rheumatic fever ended his career in 1903. In 1905 he began umpiring and completed his career in 1910, having umpired eight VFL matches as a field umpire and 76 on the boundary, including the 1905, 1906 and 1908 Grand Finals.
In 1937 Clarrie Hearn umpired twelve matches on the boundary in the VFL. Previously he had played 92 games and kicked ninety goals for Essendon. Described as an excellent utility player. Originally from Rutherglen, he had excellent pace as evidenced by his winning of the 1929 Stawell gift. An accurate kick he twice booted seven goals in a game. In 1934 he represented Victoria.
Heffernan kicked four goals in six games for North Melbourne during 1929-30. The following year he joined the VFL as an umpire and in the years to 1935 ran the boundary in 67 matches.
Hugh Heron’s playing career at Fitzroy and Essendon totalled 12 matches and realised a solitary goal. He was much more successful as a VFL boundary umpire when he umpired 120 matches, as well as many country matches as a field umpire. On the boundary, he umpired the 1923 VFL Grand final.
As a goal umpire Hiskins umpired 52 matches between 1930 and 1933. As a player he represented South Melbourne in two stints from 1908-1915 and 1919-23 (check great war nom roll). Totaling 185 games and 56 goals after his arrival from Rutherglen. 1909 was a special year in which he kicked six goals against Richmond (five from place kicks) and played on the half-back flank in the winning Grand Final side.
Ernest Jenkins toiled for Fitzroy between the formation of the VFL and 1910. He played in the full back line in their losing Grand Final sides of 1900 and 1903 before being part of the flag-winning 1904-05 combinations on the half back flank. After captaining the ‘Roys in 1906 and 1907 and retiring, he coached Richmond in 1913. Seven years later, he reappeared in league ranks as a goal umpire and waved the flags in 133 matches. His Grand Final success continued and he participated in a further 5 during his 8-year umpiring career.
Part of North Melbourne’s first three seasons in the VFL, Johnston umpired three VFL senior matches in the field in 1930 and two on the boundary the following season.
A tall forward and sometime ruckman, Jory played in St.Kilda’s 1913 Grand Final team. Serving in the AIF during the Great War, he was one of the participants in the famous ‘London War match’, representing the 3rd Division. He continued with the Saints after the war until 1920. Jory umpired most of his football in the country but managed 3 VFL matches as a field umpire and 2 as a boundary. In 1934 he took up goal umpiring and completed 123 games prior to retiring in 1942.
After being recruited from Williamstown to St.Kilda and playing 11 matches (3 goals) between 1918 and 1921 Kennedy became a VFL boundary umpire in 1925. From then until 1931 he umpired 76 matches.
A member of Footscrays last VFA premiership he kicked seven of his 16 Essendon goals in one match. His umpiring career was mainly as a country field umpire (85 matches) but he was appointed to three VFL matches on the boundary in 1930-31.
From 1899-1907, Lampe was a tall and strong key position player for South Melbourne. In 1900, he kicked South’s entire score of 3.1 against Essendon. His final game was in the losing 1907 Grand Final side. In 1909, he umpired one VFL match as a field umpire and six on the boundary.
Lane was on Fitzroy’s list for three years and played one senior game in 1932. Much later he took up umpiring and was appointed to 26 senior VFL matches. In 1947 he umpired the VFL Reserve Grade Grand Final.
Leeds began playing for Carlton in 1903 but, in 1904, decided to take on umpiring. After officiating in two VFL matches, Carlton recalled him and he played the remainder of the season for them. He was instrumental in their semi-final victory over Essendon and played on the half-back flank in the grand final.
As a VFA field umpire, Madden was struck by hail during the storm that forced the abandonment of the 1921 Grand Final. He later became a VFL goal umpire in 1923 and umpired 93 matches. The pinnacle of his career was the 1928 Grand Final. Prior to his officiating, Madden was an excellent forward for Essendon before transferring to VFA neighbours Essendon Town in 1907. Ironically, he was suspended for a year by the VFA – for umpire abuse.
Vin Maguire played for Geelong in 1915 and 1917-18 amassing 43 matches and eight goals. In 1923 and 1924 he umpired 7 VFL matches.
‘Dick’ McKay was a defender with Fitzroy and St.Kilda from 1897-1903 and skippered the Saints in 1901. More than ten years after his retirement McKay took up the boundary for 88 VFL matches. In 1918, he replaced an injured Arthur Norden during the third quarter of a match at the Junction Oval, making him eligible for field umpire status on this list.
McNamara played on the wing for Carlton but was overlooked for the 1904 finals series. He immediately joined the umpiring fraternity in 1905. He umpired 3 VFL matches between 1905 and 1908 but was much more successful as a boundary umpire. In this role, he umpired 101 matches including the 1910 Collingwood v. Carlton Grand Final.
In 1926, Keith Millar represented Victoria three times as part of a career with Richmond that spanned 1924-1927 and a further season in 1930. He umpired three VFL matches as a field umpire in 1936.
A quick, skillful Fitzroy centreline player for a decade, Millen was best on the ground in the 1916 Grand Final win and one of the best in the losing side a year later. He umpired the St.Kilda v. North Melbourne match at the Junction Oval in May 1929.
Mick Minahan’s real name was Michael O’Gorman. Under his alias, he played for South Melbourne and St.Kilda in the early years of the VFL. Minahan later became a 172-game goal umpire who officiated in the 1904, 1913 and 1914 Grand Finals. Minahan resigned when he volunteered for the AIF in the Great War. He returned to Australia but not to umpiring.
As a high-leaping follower and a defender, Jack Monohan played 171 matches for the Magpies and was among their best players in the 1902-03 premiership years. Injury cruelly denied him a place in the winning side in 1902 after he had been left out in 1901. His omission created much controversy among the Collingwood faithful who felt he would have quelled Essendon’s match-winning spearhead, Albert Thurgood. Monohan represented Victoria 7 times before moving to North Melbourne. In 1913, Monohan became a VFL goal umpire. He officiated in 181 matches and 3 Grand Finals. Naismith was part of the 1922 Grand Final boundary and goal umpiring crew that were all ex-VFL players – Dick McKay (B), Jack Monohan (G) and Ernest Jenkins (G).
A winger in South Melbourne’s 1909 premiership team Moxham kicked two goals in 29 matches. He began boundary umpiring in 1913 and officiated in 25 VFL matches until 1919.
Over 144 VFL matches, Mutch was a reliable Collingwood defender. He tasted success in 1917, being one of the Magpies best in their premiership win. He played in losing grand finals in 1915, 1918 and 1919 and was injured in 1920 prior to the finals. As an umpire, he tasted almost immediate success. He debuted in Round 13 1923, umpiring each remaining home and away round that season. He then went on to umpire the second-semi and preliminary finals. His ninth match was the 1923 Grand Final. He retired at the end of the 1927 season with 46 matches to his credit.
A fine all round player, as comfortable in defence as attack. He played in Fitzroy’s three Grand Final teams of 1903-05, finishing his career at Melbourne in 1912. He began umpiring in 1913 and was a boundary umpire for two seasons before being tried sporadically as a field umpire between 1915 and 1919 . Much more successful on the boundary, he umpired 204 matches including the 1919, 1920, 1922, 1925, 1926 and 1927 Grand Finals. Naismith was part of the 1922 Grand Final boundary and goal umpiring crew that were all ex-VFL players – Dick McKay (B), Jack Monohan (G) and Ernest Jenkins (G).
John O’Loughlin represented Geelong in 1898 and 1901 (22 games; 1 goal) and St.Kilda in 1902 (3 games; 1 goal). In Round 1 1904, he was one of the first eight men appointed as VFL boundary umpires and, for the next 7 seasons, he was a field umpire in the country and a boundary umpire in the VFL. He amassed 91 matches and ran the line in the 1909 Grand Final between South Melbourne and Carlton.
A leading Essendon centreman for seven seasons, Okey was recruited from West Melbourne. He officiated in nine VFL matches in his first season as an umpire before retiring and taking up duties on the Essendon Committee. He later represented the club at the League table and was a State Selector for many years. He remains the only former umpire elected to Life Membership of the VFL for services other than umpiring.
Orchard skippered Geelong in 1914-15 before joining the AIF and serving in France. He was one of the participants in the famous ‘London War match’, representing the 3rd Division. He was well renowned as a centreman and forward. His sporadic senior VFL umpiring career spanned four seasons and encompassed 14 matches.
A member of the famous Collingwood Pannams, Albert F. Pannam played 28 matches between 1907- 09 kicking 12 goals. As a boundary umpire he debuted in 1914 and completed his twelfth and final match in 1921.
From 1897-1901, Pleass was an excellent ruckman for South who had great ball skills and endurance. At the beginning of 1902, he took on umpiring but, after only two matches, he returned to South Melbourne as a player until 1904 when he transferred to Essendon.
The uncle of Essendon great Dick Reynolds, Les left St.Kilda after 30 matches between 1922 and 1924. He became an umpire and, in 1929, was selected to umpire in the VFL senior ranks. The last of his three VFL matches involved his former club and angry Saints followers surrounded the umpires rooms after the game believing he had contributed significantly to their loss.
The first player-goal umpire pathway graduate, Rodan debuted in 2017 having only taken up the flags in 2014 and playing in the district competition during his early umpiring career. As a player he served Richmond from 2002-06 (65 matches), Port Adelaide from 2007-12 (111) and finally Melbourne in 2013 (9) accumulating 131 goals along the way. He was the second AFL goal umpire of Fijian descent and was coached from the outset by the first Fijian, Jason Venkataya.
Harry Rowe played two matches for Melbourne overs seasons 1945 and 1946 after playing in VAFA premiership with Melbourne High School Old Boys. He joined the VFL Senior list of umpires in 1949 and made his VFL senior debut in 1951. The final of his sixteen matches was in 1955.
Making his VFL playing debut aged 28, Sandford played 11 matches for St.Kilda. From 1904 to 1913, based in Geelong, he was a boundary umpire in 83 VFL matches and one of those credited with returning the ball to play by facing away from play and launching it over his head.
Ted Sanneman joined St.Kilda from South Bendigo in 1922 but played only that season before returning to the country. He came back to St.Kilda in 1925 and played seven seasons for 72 matches and 25 goals from a half back flank. Turning his hand to umpiring in 1936 he officiated in four games as a boundary umpire that year and 39 matches as a goal umpire from 1938-41.
Schunke played six matches for Richmond in 1909. This was after he had been a VFL boundary umpire for one season – 1904, the first season that the league used them.
‘Bob’ Sellers played for Haw. for a decade in 98 matches and kicked 65 goals. Ten years after his retirement as a player, in 1944, he began a nine year career as a VFL goal umpire that resulted in 131 VFL matches and made him the final former VFL player to be umpiring until the debut of Mark Fraser in 2005.
Jimmy Shand played forty games and kicked six goals in a four year career with Richmond . Ten years after his VFL playing days he umpired four VFL matches as a boundary umpire.
Between 1911-1916 and 1919-1920 Yorkie Shaw kicked 48 goals in 117 VFL matches for Fitzroy. A rover, he played in the 1913 and 1916 premiership teams. After training with Richmond in pre-season 1922 was listed as a VFL field umpire and umpired primarily in the Mornington Peninsula Football League. In 1923 he umpired his only VFL senior matches .
Teddy Shorten began his VFL umpiring career as a boundary in 1930 and compiled a 12 match total over two seasons. In 1939 he turned to goal umpiring and officiated at 144 matches in the next eleven seasons. He had played for North Melbourne in their last seasons in the VFA and their first year in the VFL. Half way through 1926 he transferred to Essendon and finished the year with five games making a total of eleven.
Fred Sigmont played 6 matches for South Melbourne in the first year of the VFL. As a goal umpire, he was appointed to the 1909 Grand Final amongst his 108 VFL matches between 1908 and 1915
A reliable defender/ruckman from the early days of St.Kilda, Smith was captain of the club in 1901 (replacing Dick McKay), 1903-04 and 1906. In 1907, he started his umpiring career with 14 matches. The next season he returned to St.Kilda until late June when he took up the whistle for the second half of the season. 1909 saw him as coach of the Saints and, a year later, he was back in white. After further coaching stints at St.Kilda (1915 and 1918), he moved to Queensland. He umpired for four seasons in 33 VFL senior matches in the field, two on the boundary and officiated at the 1908 ANFC Carnival. Somewhat of an entrepreneur, his name was often linked with proposed tours of Australian football teams to the United States, but none ever eventuated.
Streckfuss umpired right through the 1920s as a boundary umpire and in 1930 did one year as a goal umpire for a total of 110 VFL matches, eight of which were finals seven on the boundary, one in the goals).
Originally from Warrnambool, Threlfall played eight games in two stints with the Tigers between 1919 and 1924. Between 1929 and 1931 Threlfall umpired 22 VFL matches as a boundary umpire.
Possessed of a fiery temper and attitude to opposition players despite his light frame, Topping was suspended in 1910 for striking South Melbourne’s Herbert Streckfuss . The penalty was the remainder of the season and all of 1911. After serving the suspension, he played a single game in 1912 and, in 1913, he became a VFL field umpire, officiating in three senior matches before returning to Carlton in 1914.
‘Lardie’ Tulloch remains the only man to have captained a League team to a premiership and to have umpired a VFL grand final. Physically tough, he led Collingwood by example as skipper from 1902-04, but his career spanned from 1897 to 1904. As a follower he was amongst the Magpies best in the 1902 grand final and played in the 1903 grand final on the wing. Taking up umpiring in 1905, he was away to a slow start but, by 1907, was appointed to the grand final. Despite umpiring until the end of 1911 it was his last final.
Fred played a single game for St.Kilda after being recruited from Brighton. He also umpired a single VFL match in 1923.
Patriarch of the Twomey dynasty, Bill was a speedy centreline player (fast enough to win the 1924 Stawell Gift) who retired from football aged 22 to focus on a professional athletic career. In 1933 he umpired three matches on the boundary before leaving umpiring to return to playing with Hawthorn for the remainder of 1933 and 1934. He later had an extensive coaching career at VFL, VFL Reserves and country level
Vernon, originally from Western Australia, umpired four VFL matches in the first half of 1912. A half-forward and one of the better players in Collingwood’s 1910 premiership side, he also played in their losing team in 1911.
Played three matches at full-forward for Melbourne, scoring three goals in the process. From 1904-1908 he umpired 35 games as a field umpire and 28 as a boundary. In partnership with John Kennedy, he was one of the first two boundary umpires to officiate in a grand final. Two years later, in 1906, he umpired the grand final as a field umpire, becoming the first man to achieve the ultimate success in two disciplines.