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Football ump dies during match

ABC

ABC

An umpire in charge of an Australian Rules game in Victoria’s north has died from a sudden heart attack on field.

Greg Sidebottom was umpiring Saturday’s Kyabram District Football League match between Ardmona and Undera at Ardmona Recreational Reserve when he collapsed during the last quarter and died at the scene.

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AFL Goulburn Murray region general manager Martin Gleeson said there were no real warning signs in the lead up to the heart attack other than a comment Mr Sidebottom made about shoulder pain earlier in the game.

Mr Gleeson said Mr Sidebottom, who is survived by his wife and children, will be sorely missed by many.

“A great loss as an individual and as a local person but also as a great football person,” Mr Gleeson said.

“A lot of the 15- and 17-year-old kids running around doing the boundary with the GVFUA [Goulburn Valley Football Umpires Association] at the moment are there because of the work Greg has done in schools in being able to recruit those kids into the game.”

Kyabram District Football and Netball League said it was a “sad day in country footy”.

Mr Sidebottom umpired football for over 40 years, including 39 Victorian Football League (VFL) matches between 1983 and 1987.

Just last month Mr Sidebottom was honoured as a life member of the Shepparton Youth United Cricket Club.

He was also the operations manager for the Greater Shepparton City Council.

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