Vale Phil Humphreys


Vale Phil Humphreys  - from ALA Historian Doug Fox

With the passing of Phil Humphreys on the 3rd April, lacrosse in Australia lost one of its very finest.

Phil, aged 79, was brave and uncomplaining throughout a long illness in recent years.  The sincere condolences of the entire lacrosse community are extended to his wife, Jan, and to children Gary, Megan and Jane and their extended families.  They are assured that Phil’s memory will never be forgotten.

Phil was a brilliant and dominant player from a very young age as a junior with Caulfield Lacrosse Club and progressed to the highest levels in senior lacrosse at club, State, National and International levels.  Even before his playing career drew to a close, Phil was displaying his superlative talents as a coach and administrator.

The stellar record summarized below is testament to the superstar that Phil Humphreys was in lacrosse.

Tough and competitive as a player, but always fair.  He was strategic, insightful and demanding as a coach but always approachable and caring of his players.  As an administrator he was an exceptional leader; inspiring, widely respected, prepared to delegate authority and always ready to listen to others views, adapt and innovate.  Much was achieved for the sport while Phil was at the helm as President at State and National levels.

Phil was unassuming and never sought the limelight.  Anyone who had the good fortune to play or work in lacrosse with Phil, and know him as a friend, will testify that the outstanding contribution he made to the sport over five decades simply cannot be replaced. We can only hope that, by reading Phil’s record, others in the sport will be inspired to follow his lead.

Lacrosse Playing Career

  • Phil commenced in 1949 as a 10-year old junior with the Caulfield Lacrosse Club, playing in the Under 14 section and winning the Best & Fairest player award in his first year.
  • Selected in the Victorian Under 16 Team as a 13 year-old in 1952 and playing in that team for three years, named Captain in 1954.
  • Member of the 1957 Victorian Colts (Under 21) Team, aged 18 years.
  • Selected in the senior Victorian State Team in 1958 and continuing to represent the State at this highest level through until 1971, playing a total of 10 games and gaining Australian All-Star Team honours.
  • Member of the 1962 Australian Team that toured USA and England; a venture that brought great recognition to the sport and fuelled significant changes to how lacrosse was played in Australia
  • Defenceman in the 1970 Australian team in Adelaide that played the visiting Lancers Team from Baltimore, USA.

Lacrosse Coaching Career

  • While still a player in 1971, Phil coached the Caulfield “A” section team to the Grand Final.
  • Selected as Victorian Colts Team Coach in 1973 and subsequently joined Chadstone Lacrosse Club as senior Coach in 1974, leading them twice to the premiership Grand Final.
  • Coached the Victorian Senior State Team to victory in the 1974 Australian Championship and subsequently coached senior Victorian teams in 1975, 1976 and 1982.

Lacrosse Administration Career

  • Served for 16 years on the Caulfield Club Committee holding positions of Secretary, Chairman, Vice-President and Victorian Lacrosse Association Delegate
  • Member of the Visits Committee of the VALA from 1975 to 1977.
  • Vice-President, Australian Lacrosse Council 1977-78, 1982.
  • President of the Victorian Lacrosse Association 1979-1982.
  • President of the Australian Lacrosse Council 1979-80 and 1983 -90, a total period of 10 years at the helm.
  • Vice-President of the International Lacrosse Federation 1987, 90.

Significant Awards

  • Elected as a Life Member by Caulfield Lacrosse Club in 1975.
  • Awarded Amateur Sports Club Sportsman of the Year in 1975.
  • Awarded the Australian Lacrosse Council Certificate of Merit for outstanding service in 1978.
  • Elected Victorian Lacrosse Association Life Member in 1983.
  • Appointed as “Fellow of the Australian Lacrosse Council” in 1992.
  • Recipient of Australian Government “Australian Sports Medal” 2000.
  • Selected in 2010 in the Caulfield Lacrosse Club “Team of the Century.”

Beyond Lacrosse

Outside of lacrosse Phil made similarly long and outstanding contributions to other organizations and to his local community.  Whether it was restoring antique cars and attending rallies with the Vintage Car Club, throwing his energy behind Rotary Club, golf club or Food and Wine club ventures, Phil gave freely of his time and received constant accolades.


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