AFL CEO Andrew Dillon

The AFL is deeply saddened to learn of the update today from NSW Police regarding the passing of Jesse Baird and his partner Luke Davies.
Jesse was a popular and respected member of our AFL umpiring family, having begun his umpire journey in 2011 in the Northern Football and Netball League (NFNL), before moving to Queensland in 2017 and then making his debut on the AFL umpiring list in 2020.
In 2023 Jesse moved to Sydney for work and to continue to his AFL umpiring career, which spanned 62 AFL matches, including two finals. 
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, most importantly he will be remembered for the great, caring person that he was.
The AFL will continue to offer support to his family and has also offered counselling to Jesse’s umpiring colleagues and the wider AFL football department since the news of his disappearance on Thursday.

We will also work with his family and the Umpiring Association on a suitable tribute in the coming weeks.
The entire AFL family extend our deepest sympathies to both Jesse and Luke’s families as well as our umpiring and broader team during this very difficult time. 
May Jesse and Luke both rest in peace.

AFL Umpire and close friend Brett Rosebury
Jesse was more than a colleague, he was a loved friend who I cherished. I loved umpiring with him and being around him. As a young goal umpire he always provided great positivity to the team in the changerooms and he was very talented on and off the field.

AFL Goal Umpire Steve Piperno

Jesse leaves behind a profound void that words struggle to capture. Anyone who knew Jesse was impacted by his incredible energy and spirit for life. We were blessed to have him as part of our umpiring family.
AFL National Goal Umpire Coach David Dixon

Jesse had this unique gift to put a smile on everybody's face. His thoughtful and caring nature to make you feel like the most important person in every interaction.