Unique umpire celebration

Taking to the field in the senior Ellinbank District Football League match between Poowong and Lang Lang to celebrate the 60th birthday of Gippsland Umpires Association are (back row, from left) John Brookes, Geoff Legge, Bruce Pratt, Trevor Hobson, Peter Heywood, (front, from left) Riley Feil, Mervyn Pentland, Jeff Bell, Tom Morrison and Bill Ross.

Taking to the field in the senior Ellinbank District Football League match between Poowong and Lang Lang to celebrate the 60th birthday of Gippsland Umpires Association are (back row, from left) John Brookes, Geoff Legge, Bruce Pratt, Trevor Hobson, Peter Heywood, (front, from left) Riley Feil, Mervyn Pentland, Jeff Bell, Tom Morrison and Bill Ross.

It was a unique and fitting celebration for Gippsland Umpires Association’s 60th birthday when nine of the umpiring panel’s elder statesmen took charge of the senior match at Poowong on Saturday.

Appointed umpires Peter Heywood, John Brookes and Trevor Hobson, boundary umpires Geoff Legge and Merv Pentland and goal umpires Bruce Pratt and Jeff Bell are aged between 59 and 62 years, with an average age of 60 years.

Having already officiated in the under 18s match, experienced emergency Tom Morrison began the third quarter with a throw back to the bounce.

Goal umpire Bill Ross (77) came out of retirement to join the celebrations, waving the flags for the second half.

Fourteen-year-old Riley Feil provided additional energy needed as the third boundary umpire, even if he did drop the average age below the magic number.


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