Best known as a former Test cricket umpire, and the man who gave the final Ian Meckiff run out decision in the famous Gabba Test between Australia and the West Indies in 1961, he was also well-regarded as an Australian Football reporter for The Courier-Mail newspaper through the 1950s, ‘60s and early ‘70s. Born at Windsor in Brisbane in May 1922, he died in March 1999 after a life in which he divided his sporting energies between the two codes.
A product of Windsor State School, he was chosen to represent Queensland Schoolboys in Sydney pre-war but the tour was cancelled due to an outbreak of polio. Was later a player and an administrator with the Windsor Football Club before turning to journalism and editing the post-war edition of the Football Record through to the early ‘70s. Is also recognized as the first unofficial historian of Queensland football.
He kept countless diaries that were full of sporting anecdotes, and untold tales of football and footballers have been pivotal in research for the Queensland Team of the Century and Hall of Fame. He was stationed in New Guinea with the army as a teenager during World War II, and on his return he played cricket at Valleys. Frustrated by a string of batting failures, he turned to umpiring. He made his first-class debut in January 1952, was the first Queenslander to umpire Test cricket, and controlled nine Tests from 1954-61.
He retired to concentrate on his own cricket at Valleys, where he played in the lower grades until 1988, plus a business career in the retail trade and with Ansett Airlines, and his part time journalistic exploits. He covered the 1961 Australian football carnival in Brisbane and was widely regarded as one of the code’s foremost authorities for a long time. Made an umpiring comeback during the first season of World Series Cricket in 1978-79.