Richard Underwood with his AFL Merit Award.

Underwood receives AFL Merit Award

October 31, 2019 BY

PORTARLINGTON Football Club’s Richard Underwood is one of the latest recipients of the AFL Merit Award.

The prestigious award was first given out in 1931. It is given to just two people from each state every year, and is an acknowledgement of volunteers who have contributed significantly to Australian football over the past decade.

Mr Underwood fits this description except for the fact he has been contributing to the sport for much more than a decade.

A life member and former club president and secretary of Portarlington Football Club, Mr Underwood is also an AFL Barwon Commission.

Also a commissioner of Football and Netball Geelong, Mr Underwood has been an umpire for about 30 years, and is presently running an All Abilities Umpiring Program along with Brendan Beveridge.

Mr Underwood said he was flattered to receive the award, but was simply focused on improving the sport he is passionate about.

“You don’t do these things for the recognition, I’ve done them because I love the game and love being involved.”

Current Portarlington Football and Netball Club secretary Geoff Fary described Mr Underwood as “a stalwart of the club,” while also noting that he was also a central figure in the community in general.

Mr Underwood has also had his name added to the honours board at the Melbourne Cricket Ground.