‘Legendary’ country football umpire Greg Sidebottom dies during match – The Age
7 months ago Comments Off on ‘Legendary’ country football umpire Greg Sidebottom dies during match – The Age
Greg Sidebottom passed away while umpiring a country football match. Photo: Facebook
An umpire has suffered a heart attack and died during a country football match in Victoria’s north.
Greg Sidebottom was umpiring Saturday’s senior AFL game between the Ardmona and Undera football clubs at Ardmona Recreational Reserve when he collapsed on the field in the last quarter about 4.15pm.
Patrons at the ground performed CPR until paramedics arrived but he could not be resuscitated and died at the scene. The match was immediately called off.
Greg Sidebottom received a life membership from the Shepparton Youth United Cricket Club last month. Photo: Facebook
Mr Sidebottom, aged in his fifties, has been remembered as a “legendary umpire” and a well-respected member of the sporting community in Victoria.
He umpired football for four decades, including at the VFL level during the 1980s, before settling in the Shepparton region.
Tributes have flowed on social media for Mr Sidebottom, who leaves behind his wife and children.
A friend of Mr Sidebottom, Allan Jenkins, wrote in a tribute posted on Facebook: “He dedicated his life to his family and to sharing his passion for our great game with so many others across Victoria and beyond”.
“No one will fit into your shoes Greg and your whistle will be heard across the heavens.”
In a statement posted to Facebook, the Victorian Football Umpires Association said he was a “wonderful person on and off the field who will be sorely missed”.
“Greg was a wonderful VFL umpire and country football umpire who always had a smile on his face and was so passionate about umpiring.”
The Geelong Football Umpires League said Mr Sidebottom had been a “wonderful mentor coach and umpire”.
In an online post, the league said he had recruited hundreds of umpires over the years and supported and encouraged many more.
“He just loved football and particularly umpiring,” the post read. “A good man gone with a large legacy impacting across umpiring in Victoria.”
Mr Sidebottom had also been involved in racing and cricket.
In a tribute posted online, the Shepparton Racing Club said Mr Sidebottom had “developed a real passion for harness racing”.
“Greg was a legendary umpire in football circles and settled in Shepparton after a distinguished VFL career.”
The Mooroopna Cricket Club also passed on their condolences to the Sidebottom family and the Shepparton Youth United Cricket Club, where Mr Sidebottom was honoured as a life member last month.
“A great competitor and clubman who will be greatly missed,” the tribute said.