Hall of Fame

The NSWAF Umpires Association honours its past and present umpires, administrators and officials in our Hall of Fame.

The Hall of Fame also incorporates our “legends”, for those the Hall of Fame Committee feel warrant this further honour.

The Inaugural Hall of Fame Dinner was held in 2003, ‘the Year of the Official’. Twelve people were inducted, with another three inducted in 2004. No one was inducted in 2005 to 2007. It is planned that further persons will be induced in the future.

It is the goal of the Association to create a ‘Wall of Fame’ at our training base in Rushcutters Bay to honour our inductees.

Criteria for selection into the NSWAFUA Hall of Fame are:

1. In the first year (2003), a maximum of twelve people will be inducted.
2. Any member of the Hall of Fame can, at any time in the future, be elevated to “legend status”.
3. After the first year, a maximum of five can be inducted (but this should not be taken as mandatory).
4. Inductees will be umpires (past and present, all disciplines), administrators (executive members, past and present), advisors, coaches and observers.
5. Inductees must have a minimum of five years service with the NSWAFUA.
6. For an umpire to be an inductee, the following should be taken into account:
* ability whilst with NSWAFUA;
* attitude towards umpiring;
* attitude to training;
* service to Sydney AFL umpiring and/or NSWAFUA.

The purpose of establishing this award is not to exclusively recognise those who have progressed to the highest level in umpiring. Instead, it is to recognise those who have contributed to umpiring in the NSWAFUA. Whilst this may include awards to high achievers at the AFL Sydney level, it does not exclude people, through their tireless effort and work, who have improved or contributed generally the Umpires Association or umpiring in the AFL Sydney.

The following are Hall of Fame Inductees of the NSWAFUA.

| Graham Allomes | Peter Hampshire | Frank Kalayzich | John Leber | Mal Lee | Alan McIntyre | James McSweeney | Kevin Meade | C. Murray | Len Palmer | John Reid | Mark Rendell | James Smail | Bill Wagener | Ross Wheeler | David Yole |

Graham Allomes

Graham Allomes joined the NSWAFUA in 1970, and served the Association and Sydney Australian Football for almost 20 years. He was an active member of the Social and End of Season Football Trip Committees, and a regular attendee at all social functions.

Graham represented the Association in the 1974 Second Division Carnival, comprising the Australian Amateurs, ACT, Queensland and NSW at Erskineville Oval. He boundary umpired one of the first VFL (Seconds) games at the SCG in 1987.

Graham officiated in the 1984 and 1985 First Grade Grand finals and held the record number of first grade games for a Boundary Umprie until 2007 – 267 (as part of 348 total games).

Peter Hampshire

Peter Hampshire joined the Association in 1987, and recently retired at the end of the 2005 season. Starting his career as a boundary umpire, Peter later switched to the Field in 2003. He umpired a total of 44 Field, 181 Boundary and 1 Goal Umpire games in First Grade, for a total of 425 career games. Peter was a dedicated professional, who achieved at the highest levels, representing NSW in 1992 and 1994. He has officiated at AFL and interstate level, and has umpired 9 Sydney Grand Finals. He was awarded the A. W. St Clair Shield in 1994, the Silver Whistle in 1989, 1990 and 1994, and the Trainers Award in 1989, 1990 and 1994.

Peter conscientiously and efficiently served the interests of the Association as President (3 years), Secretary (6 years) and Executive Member (2 years). He guided and led the physical and professional development of umpires as Fitness coach (5 years), Boundary coach (5 years) and Appointments Secretary (5 years). Further, Peter actively supported all aspects of the Umpire’s Association endeavours, including involvement in number social functions.

Peter is a valued Life Member, who continues to contribute and promote the highest ideals of umpiring. He has been tireless, self-sacrificing and diligent in all aspects of football life.

Frank Kalayzich

Frank Kalayzich was recruited to the Manly-Warringah junior competition by Mark Rendell in 1978. After several top junior (under 17) grand finals, Frank opted for umpiring in the senior (NSWAFL) competition, debuting in 1983 and first Premier Division game in 1986. He was elevated to VFL/AFL under 19 and reserve grade in 1987. Fostering junior development and recruitment, Frank was Umpire’s Coach for the Manly-Warringah junior competition for several years.

Frank’s successes have been hard fought, unwavering and steadfast. His accelerated and long lasting stamina and fitness is testimony for his endurance and longevity. He has continually displayed a willingness for escalated excellence, constantly asking probing questions based on experience and speculation.

Frank has been a mentor and teacher for innumerable colleagues providing encouragement, support and advice. His application may be summarised with the Latin quote, capimus sed tradimus, “what you learn, pass on”. The Frank Kalayzich Trophy for the most improved field umpire recognises these virtues.

In 1994 the Mission Statement of the Association was “to promote an environment which encourages umpire excellence, promotion opportunities, social harmony and fellowship”. Frank encapsulates these objectives. Frank is held in high esteem amongst umpires, footballers, the football community and Sydney football is reinforced by his professionalism. He is a champion.

Membership: 1983 – 2015
First grade game: 514 (record)
Total games: 650
First Grade Grand Finals: 1987, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1997, 1999,2006, 2009, 2014, 2015 (record)
NSWAFUA Life Member: 1997
AFL Sydney Life Member: 2015

John Leber

John began umpiring after WWII in the then NSW Australian National Football League. He umpired the First Grade Grand Final between Western Suburbs and Eastern Suburbs in 1951, and the First Grade Grand Final between Eastern Suburbs and North Shore in 1955.

John’s approach to umpiring was as the ultimate professional. His conduct both on and off the field was of the highest standard, and he was a positive role model for younger umpires. His senior umpiring spanned from 1948 to 1955, when he umpired 147 senior games, including 6 representative matches. Following his retirement from senior football, he continued to umpire in the St George Junior Association until 1973.

He was heavily involved with Boys Town Junior Football Club during the 50s, 60s and 70s when they were the premier junior club in Sydney. John also coached a number of Sydney and State Representative teams. Through his work connections he was instrumental in organising travel arrangements for representative teams from the local League. This organising ability flowed onto tremendous assistance to the NSWAFUA in planning end of seasons trips for many years.
John’s commitment to the NSW Umpires Association was highlighted when he accepted the role of President for a period during 1978. Life Membership of the Association was granted to John for his contribution to umpiring.

Mal Lee

Mal Lee came from the Footscray area, and played football with the Yarraville Club in Melbourne and the South Sydney Football Club upon moving to Sydney. Mal commenced umpiring as a boundary umpire in the late 1950s, and it was not long before he was also officiating as a field umpire. In fact, dual roles were the norm during the 1950s and 1960s. During this period, he also acted as Association Treasurer and Social Secretary.

Mal went on to umpire the First Grade Grand Finals in 1963 (Western Suburbs versus Newtown), 1967 (Newtown versus Western Suburbs) and 1968 (Newtown versus Western Suburbs). He umpired a total of 109 First Grade matches, and was well respected by all players and officials throughout the League.
He was Association President for five years from 1966 to 1970 and contributed to the healthy growth of the Association during this period. Following his great career as a running umpire, Mal took on the onerous task of Umpires Advisor for another five-year period (1971 to 1975). Once again, Mal contributed to the standing of umpiring within the local League and New South Wales. Mal’s contribution to umpiring and football in New South Wales was rewarded with Life Membership of the Association.

Alan McIntyre

Alan commenced umpiring in 1943, officiating in more than 300 games as a Central Umpire in senior football before retiring in 1958. During this period Alan also umpired many games of junior football. In 1948 he umpired New South Wales versus Western Australia at the Sydney Cricket Ground, and also umpired a match between New South Wales and Richmond, with Jack Dyer (Captain Blood) at the Richmond helm.

During his umpiring career he had the unusual record of controlling five First Grade matches in only ten days (2 one weekend, 1 on Wednesday and 2 the following weekend). This type of dedication, together with the respect of his fellow umpires, led to his election as a Life Member of the Association.

On retiring from umpiring Alan, who spent most of his life in Erskineville, returned to the Newtown Football Club, and held many positions there until the Club’s closure in 1986.

James McSweeney

James McSweeney is the ‘gentleman of the turf’. He has dedicated over half his life to football and football management. He is one of the most respected persons in Sydney and Super Rules football.

Jim’s commitment extends over 40 years – beginning with his involvement in the St George juniors. As a member of the NSWAFUA from 1960 right through to 1990, Jim umpired over 674 games, including 152 First Grade. His professionalism on the Association Executive in the early 1970s promoted the importance of football umpires (President 6 consecutive years, Secretary 1 year, Board of Directors 16 years). His wise counsel, his honesty and willingness to promote members interests has provided the backbone for the current membership.

Since moving to Super Rules in 1990, Jim was awarded the Super Rules Hall of Fame in 2000, before retiring in 2001. Jim has since travelled around Australia, realising his dream to be an integral part of this great Australian game.

Kevin Meade

Originally from Melbourne, Kevin’s mission has been to promote umpiring to the highest degree. His unbounded committed from 1991 to 2002 is demonstrated by his service as President for 3 years, Secretary for 2 years and on the Executive for 5 years. Kevin created the clubrooms at Rushcutters Bay, organising annual photos and memorabilia. He initiated regular BBQ’s and the annual Christmas lunch, and has been a regular member of end of season trips.

Kevin umpired 119 Field and 1 Goal First Grade games, for a career total 185 games in Sydney (and over 500 across Australia). He represented the Association in three representative games between the Sydney AFL and Riverina, and was awarded the A. W. St Clair Shield in 1996.

Kevin’s passion for football and umpiring extends over 25 years, both in Sydney and Footscray. His contributions to umpiring have been immense, but never more so in Sydney, where his legacy is still felt today. Accordingly, Kevin was awarded Life Membership in 1999.

C. Murray

In the era of the single Field Umpire, Murray’s record speaks for itself. Umpiring in six First Grade Grand Finals (1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1922 and 1923) makes Murray the umpire of the era. Whilst it is difficult to obtain further information from over 80 years ago, this is a remarkable achievement on its own, and a commendable contribution to umpiring in Sydney.

Len Palmer

Len Palmer spent 8 years on the Victorian Football League Reserve and Senior Central Umpiring Lists. In 1965 Len transferred to Sydney for business reasons. For some unknown reason (unlike most interstate arrivals of that time), he did not get an automatic appointment to First Grade. Instead, his first appointment was to Third Grade – but it was not long before the folly of this decision was realised.

Len went on to umpire the First Grade Grand Final in 1965, and again in1966. He always conducted himself as a gentleman both on and off the field, and was well respected by fellow umpires and players. Apart from his on field efforts, Len acted as Secretary/Treasurer of the Association in 1966. Unfortunately, in 1970 business took Len away from Sydney Football, and he moved to the Central Coast, where acted on the Umpires Appointment Board for a number of years.

Ken Ray

Ken Ray’s twenty four years in goal umpiring has accelerated the presence of the official arbitrators and scorers of our national game. His commitment is excessive; his doggedness for professional procedure is portrayed in rehearsals and rendition on the training track plus extensive debriefings post game.

Ken joined the NSWAFUA in 1989. He officiated in the Sydney AFL First Grade Grand Finals in 1994, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2003 and 2005. He was appointed to the specialist role of Sydney Goal Umpires Coach in 1993, a role he performed for over 14 years (to 2008). During this period he was listed for 3 years on the AFL Goal Umpires panel and umpired every Swans games on the SCG. Ken was the official AFL Goal Umpires Observer for numerous years.

Ken won the Bronze (Goal) Whistle in 1995, the Michael Heinrichs Award (1996 and 2003) and subsequently presents the Ken Ray Trophy since 2004. Ken was awarded Life Membership of the Association in 2005.

Ken has prevailed to establish intense (long suffering) drills combining individual and group practice to create a powerful element in the umpiring group. He has spent innumerable hours witnessing, assessing and guiding rehearsals and procedures to professional standards. Ken has guided Sydney football goal umpiring into the 21st century.

John Reid

John’s fourteen years in Sydney (1978-1991) changed the umpiring landscape. John led the charge to ultimate fitness, with his firm control as fitness coach for over 4 years. He was absolutely committed to raising the bar in all aspects of personal health.

John umpired 172 Boundary and 63 Field First Grade Games, for a total of 351 games. Not satisfied with 8 Grand Finals on the boundary, John completed the double as a field! He represented Sydney in 1986, and was awarded the Golden Whistle in 1988, the Presidents Award in 1988, and the A.W. St Clair award in 1990.
John introduced the Grand Final night newsletter, training prizes, supported socials and end of season trips. John was awarded Life Membership in 1989.

Mark Rendell

After commencing his career in the ACT, Mark debuted in Sydney in 1975. Until his final retirement in 2003, Mark umpired 416 Field and 2 Boundary First Grade games, a total 615 career games. He officiated in seven First Grade Grand Finals, and was the A.W. St Clair award winner in 1991. Mark’s achievements on and off the field are a credit to him, and a credit to Australian Football in NSW.

As a president of the NSWAFUA (7 years), Treasurer (8 years) and Board Member (over 20 years), Mark has always put up his hand to help the NSW umpiring fraternity. He guided the NSWAFUA throughout the last quarter of the twentieth century, and the Association we are part of today can largely be attributed to valuable work of Mark Rendell.

Mark is a Life Member NSWAFUA, and is the only umpire to achieve Life Membership of the Sydney Football League.

James Smail

James Smail was the goal umpire of his era, umpiring 11 Sydney Australian Football League Grand Finals between 1975 and 1988. This was a truly remarkable achievement. In total Jim umpired over 250 First Grade Games.

“Jimmy” was the quintessential professional, as anyone who had the privilege to officiate with him will attest. He also played a key role in assisting junior goal umpires in their development. Jim went on to the pinnacle of umpiring, being among the first Sydney umpires to umpire at senior AFL level. Jim is a life member of the Association.

Bill Wagener

Bill Wagener was a Field Umpire during the early 1950s, an era where there were few statistics on umpiring. However, it is known that he was a high profile umpire throughout his career. The 1950s was a period of intense competition for the top umpiring position, in a very strong and competitive League.
Bill umpired the First Grade Grand Final in 1953 between Eastern Suburbs and Western Suburbs. He also umpired all other First Grade finals that year. This was a great achievement, particularly in the era of the one umpire system.

It is estimated that Bill would have umpired in excess of 100 senior matches. He was always businesslike on the field, was well respected by players, and was a gentleman in the sports arena. Following his service as an umpire, Bill remained with the code and became president of Western Suburbs Licensed Club. He continued to give great service to both the Club and the football community.

Few people, let alone an ex-umpire, have had a football field named after them. This honour was bestowed on Bill, with Wagener Oval, Ashbury, being named after him.

Steven Wallbank

Steven Wallbank joined the Association in 1990, after playing 99 games with Manly Warringah FC. He was elected to the NSWAFUA Committee in 1999, serving five years, mostly as social coordinator. His erstwhile and uninterrupted solicitations increased patronage in many soirees. Steve’s passion for total fellowship across the ranks is unbounded.

Steve’s enthusiasm and commitment to the NSWAFUA has been recognised by the awards of Service Award (1993), Most Improved Trainer (1992), Encouragement Awards (1991 and 2005), 2 KM Handicap Race (1997), Appreciation Certificates (1998 and 2012), A W St. Clair Award (2000), Services to the Association (2001) and President’s Award (2001). Steve was awarded with Life Membership in 2002.

Steve has spent over 25 years in the Sydney AFL landscape representing umpiring from the elite to rustic level; from Weldon to Wollongong, from Wallacia to Wallsend. His preparedness for travel is legendary. To date he has officiated in over 560 games (mainly as a Field Umpire) and has been appointed to a grand final for the past 22 years.

Steven has been around for eons. He has willingly served on the Committee for many years, particularly organising social events. His strengths are his resilience and commitment. He has endured all aspects of umpiring, both the positives and negatives.

Ross Wheeler

Ross Wheeler came to Sydney from Perth, and commenced umpiring with the Association as a Goal Umpire in 1971. This was at a time when Goal Umpires were required to officiate at both Reserve and First Grade games in the one day, and possibly back up again the next day.

Ross has only one First Grade Grand Final listed against his name; however, he holds the record of 322 appearances as a First Grade Goal Umpire. This, coupled with his Reserve Grade matches, amounts to a great contribution ‘behind the sticks’.

For many years, Ross looked after the welfare of the Association’s umpires – providing drinks, fruit and encouragement on training nights. He also initiated the trophy for the most consistent person at training, a trophy for which there was keen competition. Apart from looking after running umpires, for numerous years Ross organised gifts for members’ children for the Christmas Picnic, and joyfully filled the role of Santa Claus at these events.

Ross was also Social Secretary and Trip Manager for a number of years. Many longer serving members will have fond memories of the many trips that Ross organised, and the manner in which he cared for their well-being. With a very small team, he worked tirelessly to raise funds to subsidise these end of season trips by conducting Friday Night raffles at the Gladstone Hotel in Chippendale.

His work for the Association and fellow umpires has been rewarded with Life Membership of the Association.

David Yole

David hails from Melbourne, and has an inbuilt love of our great game. He debuted in Sydney in 1989, and throughout his career until the end of 2004, umpired 122 First Grade games for a career total 356 games. David was awarded the A. W. St Clair Shield in 1995.

Since arriving in Sydney, David has left an indelible mark on Sydney football, as the Sydney AFL community would whole-heartedly agree. He took this passion to the Board of the NSWAFUA, where David was Secretary from 1991-1992, President from 1995-1996, and a Board Member for another 7 years. From 1997-2004 David was Head Coach of the group, where his tireless and valuable work took the Association into the modern era of umpiring. He continued to work as the AFL Umpiring Department Field Umpires Observers for AFL matches in NSW and ACT up to 2006.

David always possessed one of the most professional attitudes that would ever be displayed. His passion for football could never be questioned; David has been awarded with Life Membership of the Association.