When Northern Territory Umpires discuss the best of the best, one name comes to the fore time and time again, flag waver extraordinaire, Peter Hardy.
The Northern Territory’s first and all-time leading Goal Umpire with a 302 Northern Territory Football League (NTFL) games record, until Keith Pratt surpassed his record in November 2012, Peter goal umpired for 17 seasons and 12 grand finals from 1978/79 until his retirement in 1994/95.
Peter was umpiring when Wanderers defeated St Mary’s by a solitary point in an early eighties grand final, and was behind the goal, flags in hand, when he witnessed first-hand a hugely controversial incident behind play in the 1983/84 Grand Final.
Peter umpired for eight NTFL representative matches from 1985 to 1993, viewing some of the games best teams play against the NTFL representative sides. Peter also controlled the goals for the AFL preseason match between the West Coast Eagles and Collingwood in 1992 and the first Indigenous All Stars match in 1994 against Collingwood.
In addition to his remarkable on-field contribution to the game, Peter went above and beyond as an administrator serving the NTFL’s Umpires Association as the Umpires Coordinator, Secretary and President. Peter was also an exceptional mentor, imparting his extensive knowledge when he served as the NTFL Goal Umpires Coach. Along with his good friend, the late Percy Ellis, Peter organised the pre-season NTFL Umpires Carnival for many years.
In recognition of his phenomenal contribution not only to umpiring but to Territory football, Peter was awarded an NTFL Umpires Association Life Membership in 1989 and NTFL Life Membership in 1992.
Peter instilled professionalism in the complex and pressured discipline of goal umpiring and was the highest ranked Goal Umpire in the NTFL for over 15 years, cementing his place in the AFLNT Hall of Fame.