Vale Harry Beitzel

On Sunday afternoon we lost former football broadcaster  and VFL umpire Harry Beitzel.

I have attached some pieces that highlight the efforts of Harry Beitzel over the years; particularly with his passion for AFL International Rules.

I am too young to have known of Beitzel’s work but I call on Almanackers to share their stories and memories of Harry Beitzel.




About Matthew Naqvi

Matthew Naqvi is a writer, editor, and writing group facilitator. He is the Web Editor of The Footy Almanac. He has written for numerous sports organisations and teams including Melbourne Victory, AFC (Australian Fighting Championship) and Football Federation Victoria. He loves North Melbourne.


  1. What can you say about Harry? Umpire. Commentator. Broadcaster. Entrepreneur. He was one of those people who was larger than life. We don’t get enough of them these days. Vale Harry Beitzel.

  2. Yes, but cricket commentary on 3aw, where traditional cricket positions were substituted by clock face directions to give people a better idea of where the ball went, such as “Border has hit the ball to five o’clock”, didn’t quite cut it.. but he was an innovator,the Big H, and Tommy Lahiff, yelling down the line, ” I can’t hear you Harry”,over and over and Harry saying over and over, “Are you there Tommy?” amid the crazy,noisy dressing room of a footy club after a big game were radio gold., even if they weren’t meant to be…

  3. Ssshhhhhhhh. Don’t mention the soccer pools.

    Yes Harry and Tommy, Cult figures like the Captain and the Major. The days when radio ruled football commentary.

    Gee whizz, Tommy has been gone over 20 years. Not many left from the halcyon days of the radio coverage.


  4. When old-timers such as Harry step off this mortal coil, we reflect on the innocence of footy commentary in times past.
    And marvel at how much better it was than the guff we are served up today.

  5. i read a book about Fitzroy FC while on holiday recently, and in a chapter about the Roys last flag in 1944 i learnt they won the ressies flag as well that same day and who played in that side? none other than the Big H, so he played footy as well as umpired it & commented on it, LEGEND (not to mention his hair implants!)

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