Moment’s silence in tribute to Jesse and Luke at AFL opener


AFL pays tribute to Jesse Baird and Luke Davies
Images: AFL, Supplied

AFL players, umpires and spectators have paid tribute to Sydney couple Jesse Baird and Luke Davies with a moments silence before the first match of the season at the SCG.

Jesse was a former AFL umpire and Luke was a lifelong Sydney Swans fan. Both men were allegedly murdered by NSW Police officer Beau Lamarre-Condon last month.

Before the match between Sydney and Melbourne at the SCG on Thursday night, the crowd stood for a tribute to the pair whose “lives were tragically cut short”.

“Jesse will be fondly remembered for his vibrant, fun-loving personality, his professionalism and his commitment to the next generation of young umpires through his mentorship of state league umpires,” a crowd announcer said.

“Most importantly he will be remembered for the great, caring person that he was.

“The entire AFL family extend our deepest sympathies to both Jesse and Luke’s friends and family.

“Please pause for a moment while we pay our respect.”

Both Sydney and Melbourne players and the umpires wore black armbands as they lined up for the tribute. Flowers and an umpire’s white flag also stood in the middle of the field before the match.

Following the moment of silence, the crowd erupted in applause.

Jesse Baird was much-loved umpire in the AFL

Ahead of the match the AFL remembered Jesse Baird as “a popular and respected member of our AFL umpiring family, Luke a lifelong Sydney Swans supporter.”

Jesse started his umpire career in 2011 in the Northern Football and Netball League (NFNL), before moving to Queensland in 2017 and then making his AFL umpiring debut in 2020.

He continued after moving to Sydney in 2023 and umpired 62 AFL matches, including two finals.

The league said both Jesse Baird and Luke Davies’ families had supported the tribute and were experiencing “untold grief”.

AFL CEO Andrew Dillon said, “Jesse developed many close friendships during his umpiring career and time at the AFL. He was such a vibrant, fun-loving person, who was deeply committed to umpiring.

“A tribute pre-game to both Jesse and Luke is a small way for us all to reflect and remember two young men during what is a very difficult time for their families and friends.”

Photos of Jesse Baird with AFL colleagues and Luke Davies at a Sydney Swans match
Image: AFL/Twitter

More on Jesse and Luke:

Mardi Gras tribute for Jesse Baird and Luke Davies

Accused killer Beau Lamarre-Condon sold gay party ticket while on the run

Hundreds attend Sydney vigil for Jesse and Luke

Police find bodies of Jesse and Luke in regional New South Wales

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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