|Full name||Thomas James Edward Bates|
|Date of birth||25 June 1910|
|Place of birth||Nathalia|
|Date of death||6 October 2009(aged 99)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 1933.
|Sources: AFL Tables, AustralianFootball.com|
Bates played just one game in the VFL. Recruited to the Essendon seconds from Nathalia, he filled in as a wingman replacing Tom Clarke who was ill with the flu, and played his only league game on 6 May 1933, against St Kilda at Windy Hill.
In Bates' own words: "I played one game, had one kick and got paid three quid." Unhappy with his performance, Bates retired from football immediately after the game, and returned to his favoured sport of competitive running, winning the Keilor Gift in 1939.
Bates was appointed to the VFL list of boundary umpires for the 1941 season. He made his debut in the round 1 match Footscray versus Hawthorn earning Heritage Number 256. By the end of the season he had officiated in 13 league games.
A postal employee by trade, Bates volunteered for the Australian Imperial Force (AIF) on 27 January 1942 and was posted to 2 Australian Base Postal Unit St.Kilda. Despite a Melbourne posting he did not return to umpiring that season. In August 1942 he sailed for New Guinea, returning in December 1943. While overseas he contracted malaria for which he was hospitalised on his return. He was discharged from the AIF in June 1944.
Before his death on 6 October 2009, Bates was the oldest surviving VFL/AFL player.
- Oberhardt, Mark: Your sport questions answered, The Courier-Mail, 22 July 2007.
- "Past player profiles". Essendon Football Club. Archived from the original on 6 July 2015. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- "Boundary umpire statistics". AFLUA. Retrieved 6 December 2013.
- Bates, Thomas James Edward. NAA: B883, VX73625
- Jimmy Bates's playing statistics from AFL Tables