Vale – Jeff Milne

The Sydney umpiring community lost one it’s much loved and respected members last week,  with the passing of former goal umpire Jeff Milne, at the age of 65.

Jeff joined the AFL Sydney Umpiring Group in 2006 and retired at the end of the 2009 season. During his period umpiring, he umpired four grand finals, and reached the 50 game milestone in Premier Division football. Jeff was not only known for his on-field capabilities – he was a terrific mentor to those goal umpires learning their craft, and took great pride in watching younger members achieve their goals – an attribute that he then took to the top level when he served as the AFL’s Goal Umpire Coach in NSW.

His contribution to football in Sydney was not limited to on-field – Jeff was an active member of the New South Wales Australian Football Umpires Assocation (NSWAFUA), stepping onto the committee to fill a casual vacancy in 2008, before becoming Vice President the year after. He then served as President for seasons 2010 and 2011, before handing over the reins to Emma Polette in 2012, and moving back to the Vice-President’s position in order to ensure a smooth transition.

During his presidency, Jeff guided the NSWAFUA and it’s members through one of the biggest changes to Sydney umpiring in over 100 years – the introduction of the North East Australian Football League (NEAFL).

Jeff had a true heart for community – every decision and action he took in his positions with the NSWAFUA was always in the interest of the running members He spent countless hours volunteering his time to develop the soul of Sydney umpiring – from coordinating social events, to cooking the Thursday after training meal, to negotiating the umpires pay and welfare conditions– Jeff’s passion for people was hard to match.

Jeff will be forever known for the enormous contribution he made to umpiring in Sydney, but most of all he will be always remembered for his kind-heartedness, positive, cheerful and thoughtful nature.

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