Society member, Jim McSweeney had a bit of bad luck when umpiring a game at Trumper Park between Eastern Suburbs and South Sydney in 1960.
During the third quarter, Jim knocked himself out after a ball-up in play. He bounced the ball then ran into it as the ruckmen attempted to punch the ball.
He fell to the ground and lay there unconscious while play continued after which the game was held up for about five minutes while St Johns Ambulancemen attended to him. He was not especially hurt and continued on with the game.
It certainly was a firey encounter.
- Players and spectators threw punches as the match ended;
- One of the punches struck the boundary umpire;
- Club officials were forced to call in police while a number of people demonstrated outside the umpires’ room after the match.
- The League president, Wilf Holmes, warned one spectator to leave the ground and told him his admittance would be refused at future games.
When the match finished a number of spectators rushed at the umpire attempting to strike him, one punch hitting boundary umpire, Ray McMullen.
There was a a fair bit of both on and off-field violence following WWII right up to the seventies. Thankfully, such is not the case today.
Image shows Jim McSweeney in 1969. He is the shortest one in the centre of the photograph.