BLOOD IN THEIR BOOTS
A History of VFL/AFL Grand Final Umpires
This book recognises the sporting achievement of a part of Australian Rules Football
which is often forgotten.
In the 120 years that VFL/AFL football has been played, there have been 121 Grand Finals and those games have been controlled by 63 individuals. These stories are about those umpires and their journey in football. Those who officiated from 1898 to 1947 have been recognised by reference to historical data, as they were before the author’s time. From 1948 to 2016 those involved were interviewed for their story.
They tell of their own journey in football and into umpiring, and where that journey has taken them. They nominate the players who stood out for them, some who made their
life in umpiring a little more ”interesting” and some whom they found to be real characters on the field. It is hoped this account will give the reader a better insight into
those who take on what might be seen as the less attractive side of football, however, to those who officiate, it is completely the opposite.