Eighty-eight year old Ross Raphael passed away after a brief illness.  According to his life long friend, Ron Bailey, Ross who only turned 88 on Sunday was admitted to hospital four weeks ago and passed away peacefully in the early hours of Monday morning.

Ross was still an active participant in our X umpires luncheons at both Mornington and Darebin.  He took an active interest in all of our current and past umpires.  Despite declining eyesight and hearing over the past few years, Ross gained great enjoyment catching up with good friends.

Ross was responsible for employing many umpires in his trucking and cleaning businesses over many years.  When he sold his business in 1980 he went on to become the financial officer for the Hospitals and Charities Commission until he was forced into retirement with bad eyesight.

Ross joined the VFL senior panel in 1953.  He was awarded VFLUA life membership in 1963 and retired as a running umpire in 1968.  In that time Ross umpired 482 games including 4 VFL reserve grade games, 27 VCFL finals and 7 VCFL grand finals.  That total of games does not include the many mid week appointments with the tramways competition.

Ross went on to play an active role as board man and then president and secretary of the umpires board for the VFA between 1969 until his retirement in 1989.  In 1987 Ross received life membership of the VFA. 

Ross also served as the umpires advisor in the Northern Metropolitan Football League between 1969 and 1979 where upon his retirement he was made a life member of both the league and the umpires association.

Rest In Peace Ross.

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