Former VFL/AFL goal umpire and life member, Gary Best passed away last Wednesday following a brief illness.  He was 68 years old.

Gary’s VFL/AFL career as a goal umpire commenced in 1985 but he was a boy from the peninsula first and foremost. 

Gary umpired 305 Southern Umpires games including 11 Mornington Peninsula grand finals and 3 Nepean League grand finals.  Gary umpired with the Southern Umpires between 1970 and 1984.

Gary was recruited straight onto the VFL panel in 1985 where he amassed 92 VFL/AFL games including one final in 1991, the elimination final between Melbourne and Essendon.  Gary was appointed also to the 1993 State of Origin match between Tasmania and Queensland/Northern territory.

Gary umpired the 1989 and 1993 Ansett Cup grand finals, the 1988 VFL reserves grand final and an exhibition match in Auckland in 1991. He was awarded Life Membership of the AFLUA in 1984.

Gary is survived by his sister Rhonda and close family. 

Gary’s funeral will be held at the Patterson Lakes Fire Station at 11am this Friday August 25.

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