McSpeerin Takes All Before Him

On behalf of the NSW Umpires Association and all connected with Sydney AFL football congratulations to Shane McSpeerin who breaks the record of most games by a boundary umpire on Sunday at Drummoyne Oval. This week is Shane's 268th senior appearance, which is a huge achievement. Shane has been involved in umpiring for 15 years and during that time he has rarely missed a game. Shane is also a life member of the NSW Australian Football Umpires Association.

Shane is well known to all of the first grade clubs in Sydney AFL as well as many officials and players. Players and officials have welcomed his friendly and approachable manner and this has done much to promote closer relationships between clubs and umpires. He is an astute student of the game and his insights into the game are well respected. The line "I have a theory" usually precedes some of his best insights. He has also been known to offer "assistance" to field umpires who may be debating the best and fairest votes at the end of a game. Shane possesses an uncanny recall of sporting statistics and his coverage extends to numerous sports.

Shane has a prominent sporting background. He played football for Melbourne from 1971 to 1973 and made 16 first grade appearances. He would have played many more first grade games if not for persistent hamstring injuries. He played across the half forward line and was a strong mark. He also possessed great speed, which came from excellent athletic ability. He was a very competitive 800m runner in his school days and he has one of the fastest times for the Demons around the famous "Tan Track" in a pre season run. His football career continued after Melbourne with VFA club Prahran and in later years in the Amateurs.

Shane was also a talented cricketer and played A Grade Turf in a Melbourne suburban competition. He was an opening batsman who loved the challenge of facing fast bowlers. Like all good batsmen he appeared to have plenty of time in playing his shots regardless of how quick the bowlers were.

After moving from Melbourne to Sydney Shane became involved with the Swans U19's and was the runner for 3 seasons from 1989-91. After the U19's competition was abandoned Shane moved into umpiring in 1992.

Of more recent years Shane has battled leg injuries and he could probably write a thesis on the hamstring and adductor. Despite this he still manages to get the task completed each week. The hours on the massage table at training have clearly proved invaluable. Shane is in the twilight of his career and despite the years ticking away he still performs admirably at first grade level.

Shane had a very successful career in financial markets. He was a foreign exchange trader in his prime days and later held a senior risk management position at Westpac. He has moved out of the corporate life into the more relaxed atmosphere of Australia Post and can now be seen "walking the beat" around the lower north shore.

Congratulations once again and we hope to see you "round the boundary" for many more.

Article by Anton Lewis


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