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By GREAME HODGART - Umpire's Corner
THE passing of the great footballer and media personality in Lou Richards created headlines in the football world over the past couple of weeks.
For many who followed the VFL when Richards played (1941-1955) they knew him as a champion footballer for Collingwood. But then for many decades after his retirement he became a much loved character in the media whether on the radio or on television or in the newspaper.
Although physically short of stature he certainly was a giant legend of our great game.
Just prior to the start of this season the Yarraville Football Club (previously the Kingsville Football Club) lost one of their legends with the death of Robert Grieves. Bob was also a life member of the Seddon Cricket Club besides having many other community and sporting ties.
Of course, in WRFL circles the name and personage of Barry Priest is held in very high esteem. Barry played in four Braybrook premierships throughout the 1970’s and won two A Grade competition best and fairest awards.
This award is now named in his honour. Barry Priest is rightly thought of as a true and living legend of the WRFL.
Some clubs, especially those with a long history have now established their own Halls Of Fame. These usually include a small number of their members being elevated to legend status.
The WRFL umpires association created their Hall of Fame in 2003. Since then 34 umpires/administrators have been inducted while 12 have been elevated to legend status.
The names of these legends will be familiar to many of the ‘old-timers’ of the FDFL/WRFL. The umpiring legends include Terry O’Donnell, Wally Hopkins, Alan Clough, John Booker, Stan Mielczarek, Henry McFerran, Graham Saville, Peter Starford, Shane Carland, Alan Shutt and Jim Rayner.