Tom O'Halloran was a well liked man who dedicated his life to local football and cricket across the Goulburn Valley. January 1942 - June 2012.ASHLEIGH WILLIAMSON June 21, 2012 2:02pm
Tom O’Halloran was a notorious procrastinator and a legendary Goulburn Valley cricket and football umpire.
His wife Chris laughed when thinking about it.
‘‘The kids would ask me for something and I would tell them, ‘Ask your father, but if you want a split second decision, put him in the middle of an oval’,’’ she said yesterday.
Mr O’Halloran, 70, died at his Shepparton home on Monday last week.
He earned life membership at nine different sporting clubs or associations and received several cricket, football, running and umpiring service awards.
Lemnos-SYC Junior Football Club actually awarded him life membership twice — in 1968 and 1973 — after forgetting he had already received the honour.
‘‘He was just a man of no frills,’’ Chris said.
‘‘When his body gave out, he wanted to give something back to the sports he enjoyed.’’
Thomas John O’Halloran was born in January 1942 as the first of two sons Thomas and Nellie raised at Shepparton.
Their Swallow St house was opposite ‘‘Billy Goat Flat’’ (later Victory Park) and Mr O’Halloran learned to kick a football as soon as he could walk.
Mr O’Halloran left North Technical College in Year 10 and was a carpet salesman before moving to Melbourne aged 17 to train to become a Telstra technician.
He later returned to Shepparton and met his future wife, Christine Earl.
‘‘I was a telephonist at the Mooroopna exchange and Tom was a technician who used to fix faults,’’ Chris said.
‘‘There was just a pleasant charisma about him.’’
Tom and Chris married at St Augustine’s Church on April 4, 1970 — the same day SYC won all Cricket Shepparton senior and junior premierships to set an Australian record.
He played in one of those finals until leaving that afternoon for his wedding.
‘‘He stopped the game because the fellas had hidden his car keys,’’ Chris said.
‘‘They just pitched them out on to the road at Central Park and he had everyone looking all over the ground.’’
Coach and player
Chris still remembers the only child who sent them a card after they became engaged.
Mr O’Halloran was the first coach Craig Blizzard had aged 12 for Lemnos-SYC Junior Football Club.
Mr Blizzard said his coach was the first person he knew who became married.
‘‘I thought, ‘The coach is getting married, what do I do mum?’ and she said, ‘Why don’t you send them a card?’, so we did,’’ he said.
‘‘People do lots of things in society today, but they want return.
‘‘Tommy didn’t want anything back. He did it because he loved it and that, to me, is a quality person.’’
Mr O’Halloran was also 12 when he started playing cricket for SYC and football for Lemnos-SYC in 1954.
He coached junior teams after he became too old and progressed to senior cricket for SYC and Goulburn Valley Football League for Lemnos.
The 1979-80 SYC A-grade premiership team consisted of 11 former club juniors who Mr O’Halloran had coached.
Mr O’Halloran won the 1962 Lemnos best-and-fairest during 110 senior games and five cricket premierships during 263 games for SYC.
Geoff Wilson joined Lemnos as coach in 1965 after playing 31 VFL games for Hawthorn from 1958 to 1960.
Mr Wilson said Mr O’Halloran, Darnley Montgomery and Ian Mitchell were his first three players selected every week.
‘‘They were all the same — dour, couldn’t kick, but they knew how to get the footy,’’ Mr Wilson said.
‘‘Tommy was shy, unassuming and well-liked. I could never rev him up.’’
Mr O’Halloran started umpiring football in 1969 and cricket in 1983.
He was a Shepparton Runners Club foundation member in 1978.
Chris said her husband often umpired multiple football games in a day.
‘‘There was always a shortage of umpires, but he would have done that even if there had been 2000 umpires,’’ she said.
Cricket Victoria recognised Mr O’Halloran for 50 years of service in 2005, an award Cricket Shepparton legends Bill ‘‘Jasper’’ Jones and Bert Lightfoot also received.
Goulburn Valley Football Umpires Association honoured his 40 years of service in 2009.
Mr O’Halloran and Chris raised four children — Julie, 38, Russell, 35, David, 31, and Phillip (dec).
Their four children have provided four grandchildren.
‘‘We could see the funny side of just about anything,’’ Chris said.
Mr Blizzard said Mr O’Halloran reminded him of fellow Goulburn Valley sporting legends Richie Mann and the late Barry Connolly.
‘‘All different people, but they should live forever,’’ he said.
The funeral for Tom O’Halloran will be held at Sir Ian McLennan Centre at Mooroopna from 11
Water has been returned to Kinnairds and Black wetlands to help with their revitalisation after bushfire damaged them in February.
More than 2200 people have signed up to show their support for a campaign to have the green route chosen for the new Yarrawonga Mulwala bridge.
Members of Murchison Book Club are hosting a literary lunch with Vivien Achia, author of Marrying Italian — When Love is Not Enough.
Echuca faces a big test against Tatura at Victoria Park today.
Painter Ben Winspear and Scott Wileman will create new works as the public look on during the at Rochester Art Exhibition.
Kyabram Bombers have the chance to beat Rochester under light for the first time this Friday evening.
Lions star recruit had a tough introduction to the GVFL.
Tocumwal's Don Elgin is aiming to compete at the 2014 Commonwealth Games in Scotland
Eighty residents at a forum determined the Heathcote Community Plan was on track but need some fine tuning.
Cobram skate park hosts skateboarding and music for youth week.
Senior state minister Adrian Piccoli reaquainted himself with Deniliquin yesterday, leaving Deniliquin Counil hopeful it has an ally in him.
With his blue eyes and snow-coloured coat, Nanneella horse Sinatra has looks worthy of a fairytale.
Fourteen-year-old Benalla girl Jaimee Linke will launch her debut novel next month.
Discover unbelievable local deals from local businesses every week in the Goulburn and Murray Valley area with Leapon.com.au!
Search properties for sale or rent across North Central Victoria and Southern NSW. Visit your local website for local homes....
Search for published and unpublished photos from McPherson Media Group newspapers and magazines. All our photos are available to purchase.
Place an advertisement in any one of McPherson Media Group's local newspapers.