Kevin Smith has informed the Northern Football League he will not continue as umpiring director in 2015.
After completing his 50th consecutive year in football, Smith has decided the time is right to draw an end to a sensational career that began in 1965 as an umpire in the Preston and District Junior Football League.
NFL chief executive Peter McDougall commended Smith on his tremendous service to football and the Northern Football League, who he joined at the conclusion of the 2007 season.
“On behalf of the entire NFL community, I thank Kevin for his outstanding contribution to the league over the past eight years,” McDougall said.
“The NFL was looking for an experienced person to restructure the umpiring department when Kevin joined.
“Under his stewardship, the NFL’s umpire numbers have now reached a record high, with more than 150 umpires in attendance at training each Wednesday night.”
Smith’s achievements include umpiring 303 VFL games between 1971 to 1985, including 23 finals and four grand finals in 1975, 1976, 1979 and 1983.
A fortnight ago he was announced the winner of the 2014 AFL Merit Award, recognising his extraordinary contribution to football.
Smith has also been awarded life membership with both the AFL and AFL Umpires Association, and received induction into the AFL Umpires Association Hall of Fame.
This week NFL umpire Jack Edwards was added to the AFL field umpire list for the 2015 season. Another of Smith’s protégé Lucinda Lopes became the first female field umpire to be selected onto the VFL’s umpires list this season.
The Northern Football League thanks Kevin Smith for his tremendous contribution to the league and wishes him well in retirement.
The league will soon begin the process of finding a replacement for the umpiring director position.
Last Modified on 07/10/2014 16:10