Former NRL Referee remembers his origins
As the whips start cracking this season, former NRL and Origin Referee Sean Hampstead remembers his "origins" by helping out the Balmain Referees and Balmain District during Week 1 of the 2015 Finals Series.
Sean came "back to Birchgrove"to referee the Under 16's Semi Final between Dundas Shamrocks (yellow) and Penshurst RSL (blue).
The match was a closely fought contest befitting a Semi Final but for everyone involved in the match, it was much more than a regular Semi Final. From players to Coaches & Trainers to Touch Judges & In-Goal officials, to run with a referee of Sean's standing in the game (290 NRL matches, State of Origin Referee 2004 & 2006, Test Match Referee 2003 & 2004 and World Club Challenge Referee 2005) was an absolute thrill that will not be forgotten in a long long time.
After the game, Sean was only too happy to pose for photographs with players & officals from both teams and also provide some incredible insights and advice to our younger Referees.
Alex Siemsen, Secretary of the Dundas Shamrocks Club (who kindly supplied these photos to the Balmain Referees) summed it up best "The Dundas U/16's were lucky enough to have had Sean Hampstead as their referee on Sunday. He was very good and also very good with his time as he had lots of photos taken with players and officials, Ground Managers etc".
We couldn't have put it better ourselves Alex!!!!! For someone as experienced as Sean, who has achieved everything the game can offer as a Referee, to remember his "origins" and come back to Birchgrove to help out his home Association, was simply brilliant.