The Goal Umpire's assistant
The Goal Umpire's Assistant
A film by Malcolm McKinnon
Football Stories from Country Victoria, An initiative of the Victorian Country Football League and the State Library of Victoria, 2007
Contact the copyright holder or content contributor(s) listed at the bottom of the story home page.Copyright
Malcolm McKinnon, 2006.
The tale of Arthur Cherry of Leitchville, a goal umpire always accompanied by his faithful retriever.
Thank you to Heather Cherry, Diana Mitchell-Dorrity and the Cohuna Historical Centre, and Tom Greenaway.
Arthur was interested in footy all his life and decided to take up Goal Umpiring. Enjoyed, I think, getting yelled at and all that stuff.
We acquired this little pup, a little brown curly retriever, which is a breed of dog mainly used for duck shooting and all that sort of stuff. An’ they’re renowned for carrying things in their mouth and that’s their biggest ambition to carry things around, and ah, she started to go to the football with Arthur and she decided she’d become a working member too, and um, she used to… because we lived quite close to the football ground she knew when there was football on and she was always very excited until he made a move and um, she would carry the flags over too the ground an’ when the captains and what-have-you went out to the centre to throw the coin up she would go, as soon as the coin had been thrown and the winning Captain pointed she would just automatically pick up the flags and race down to that end.
She got tripped over a few times but she would generally just sit in front of the car and just wait and wait and wait and then at half time she would head off and they’d both go and have a drink some where and she’d repeat the project and just carry the flags back to the other end that’s about there was to it, but she was very keen on that little job. But she became, like, quite an icon, everyone knew her. She died and so that was the end of her.
She is buried in the football ground, or under a pine tree in the football ground, not in the middle of the ground, but she is buried under a pine tree. You don’t really see much of dogs doing the right thing at the football, they’re usually knocking off pies or doing something else or chasing footballers, annoying them. She didn’t do that sort of stuff, she was quite a lady.