The Football Hall of Fame WA is sad to hear of the passing of one of Western Australia’s finest referees, Roy Stedman. The State’s second FIFA badge holder, Roy passed away on Sunday 20th November at the age of 97.
Born in Hove, England, Roy visited Fremantle on several occasions while serving with Britain’s Royal Navy before making Western Australia his home in 1951. He played locally for South Perth until a serious knee injury led to him take up the whistle in 1954 at the encouragement of referee’s administrator Bob McShane.
Roy adapted quickly to his new role and such was the respect he garnered that within a few short years he was officiating some of the local leagues key fixtures. He also had the whistle for Western Australia’s 1958 friendly with Blackpool and the following year’s game against Heart of Midlothian (1959).
It was in a second game featuring Hearts that same year that Roy made his international debut, the Scottish club thumping an Australian XI 9-0 that afternoon at the WACA Ground. During this period he was appointed vice-chairman of the Western Australian Soccer Referee’s Association.
Roy made global headlines in 1967 when he red carded Manchester United captain Denis Law for dissent while playing against Western Australia. Arguably his finest moment came in 1971 when he had the middle for the final of the Indonesia Anniversary Tournament, in which Burma defeated the host nation 1-0 in front 90,000 spectators.
After eighteen years at the top, Roy hung up his whistle for the last time in 1972. So great was his contribution to West Australian football that he was amongst forty-six inaugural inductees into the Football Hall of Fame WA’s Hall of Recognition in 1996.
Family and friends of Roy are warmly invited to his funeral service this Friday, December 2nd, at 2:00pm at Seasons Funerals Chapel in Kelmscott (corner of Albany Highway and Armitage Road).
Feature image: Roy Stedman (left) and dear friend Ernie Topelberg (right) meet AFC secretary Koe Ewe Teik during the State team’s first overseas adventure, the 1967 Merdeka Tournament in Malaysia