EDDIE Evans, one of Western Australia’s most decorated and highly respected referees, has died after a long illness. He had just celebrated his 85th birthday on December 7.
Born in Plymouth, in England, Eddie came to WA in 1965 and joined East Fremantle Tricolore as a player.
He won two D’Orsogna Cup finals (1966 and 1968, in which John McInroy scored four in the 6-0 win over Cracovia) and an Ampol Night Series with Tricolore before a serious knee injury ended his playing career.
But he immediately turned to refereeing, proving efficient and popular during his 16-year career as a whistler.
He was in charge of many high-profile encounters, during the 1970s and 1980s, including four D’Orsogna Cup finals. He also officiated at the 1977 Marah Halim international tournament in Indonesia.
Eddie also ran the middle in a series of prominent WA State game encounters, including international challenges against Chelsea, Middlesbrough, Norwich City, Northern Ireland and Red Star Belgrade.
He also held the position as the Director of Coaching for referees, and later on became a referee’s inspector. He received Life Membership of the Referees Association.
Eddie was inducted into the Football Hall of Fame WA’s Hall of Recognition in 2005. (other referees inducted on that occasion were Eddie Lennie, David Mortimer and Marilyn Learmont).
Barry Harwood, one of Eddie’s refereeing contemporaries and the leading whistler of his day, said: “It is with great sadness that I have been informed that Eddie Evans has passed away.
“Eddie was a integral part of the referees team in that very special era, having referred some of the major touring teams and attended the Marah Halim Cup in Sumatra.
“Thanks for being very big part of the team Eddie R I P.”
**Thanks to Barry Harwood for the pic of Eddie (on right) as a linesman at the WA v Middlesbrough game in 1977. Eddie had been the man in the middle for Boro’s earlier visit to WA in 1975. ***Also pictured: Eddie in his playing days.