RESPECTED community figure and well-known AFL Goulburn Murray umpire, Greg Sidebottom has been honoured for his contribution to Australian football, chosen as the namesake of one of AFL Victoria’s Umpire Coach of the Year Awards.
Unveiled at the annual AFL Victoria Community Football Awards on Friday night, the Greg Sidebottom Memorial Umpire Coach of the Year Award recognises one of the state’s top community umpire coaches who has helped shape the next generation of Victorian umpires, with the inaugural award going to Gippsland Umpire Association’s Paul Vaughan.
The naming of the Greg Sidebottom Memorial Umpire Coach of the Year award comes after the Goulburn Valley Football Umpires Association Life Member tragically passed away last season.
AFL Goulburn Murray Region general manager, Martin Gleeson said the award was one that paid tribute to Greg’s impact on the game and wider football community.
“Greg’s involvement in community football not only within our region, but across Victoria was significant and the naming of this award in his honour confirms his standing as one of the great contributors to the game over 40 years,” Gleeson said.
“His knowledge and passion for umpiring was shared at a grassroots level, in recruiting new members and mentoring the next generation and assisting with their development.
“Greg was universally popular and respected, not only with his fellow umpires but with players, club officials and staff within the region.
“There is no doubt this award will very quickly become very prestigious in community umpiring in Victoria and to carry the Sidebottom name will only add to the honour and legacy he has left behind.”
Officiating in 39 VFL/AFL games from 1983 to 1987, Greg returned to local football in 1988 where he was appointed the director of umpiring at the then Eastern Districts Football League.
Moving to the Goulburn Murray region, Greg had an immediate impact in the community, both on and off the field.
A life member of both the Goulburn Valley Football Umpires Association and Shepparton Youth Club United, Greg remained a valuable contributor to the state competition as a VFL Umpires’ Observer.