Steve has been involved in footy in a number of different roles over the years and this year will be his last as an umpire. In 2016, he blows the whistle on 16 years of umpiring; what an amazing achievement.
What made you first want to become an umpire?
I had done everything in football – played A grade, coached junior rep teams, club teams, and was junior president, as well as being on the BJAFL Board for a while. 16 years ago a Board member suggested I give umpiring a go as they needed people. I wanted to contribute further to our terrific game.
You have been involved in footy for a long time, what are some of your other footy achievements outside of umpiring?
I was a Level 2 coach, had done half of Level 3 but my job as a Research Officer in the government at the time got in the way of completing it. I did Level Accredited Sports Trainer course with Dean Warren over 16 weeks. I played A grade at 17 and Captained the U17 State side and had a pre-season with Melbourne AFC. I have been at 5 footy clubs over the years in all sorts of roles – recruiter, admin, team manager, players advocate at tribunals, assistant coach, interchange steward, general roustabout, to name just a few. I have had a community radio show for 6 years.
What do you do outside of footy and umpiring?
I love triathlons; I’ve done 4 this summer with another one to go. My son, a high performance coach with Triathlon Australia wants to send me to the World Titles in Amsterdam next year in my age group category. I am certainly not the quickest, but I am thinking about it. I will have to qualify. I love being a parent and a grandparent. I have volunteered at Greenslopes Hospital, been a member of the local Lions Club and the SES as well as being VP for a Model Plane Flying Club. I was in the local Men’s Shed, but they are too old for me.
Tell us more about your radio segment. What’s involved?
It is a half hour show on 1296 4RPH on Fridays at 6.05pm. It takes about a day or 2 to prepare the script. I read as much footy as I can. I have interviewed Lethal Leigh Matthews, Brownie, Simon Black, Michael Voss, plus heaps of others. I intend introducing more local content this season in what amounts to about 30 shows a year.
What has been your most memorable moment as an umpire?
Lots of them but none in particular. Doing Grand Finals, I suppose, along with Schools, Juniors, Women’s, and Masters Carnivals. Seeing Andrew Stephens, Alex Whetton and Cameron Williamson progress their respective careers, having seen them as juniors has been very satisfying.
What do you do to keep you fit and prepared for the demands of umpiring?
Triathlon and Gym stuff really – I ride 30 -35kms one day, swim 2.5 – 3 kms the next, run 5 – 10 kms and then the other days go to the gym for aerobic fitness. I like to do 2, sometimes 3 games a weekend. I don’t like sitting at home in front of a TV watching reality TV, pontificating pollies or hearing about the weather.
Any advice for younger umpires?
I want to do as much as I can to help. I tell them to stay focused as they will never get it 100% right all the time. Don’t worry about the odd few people that criticise. The players need and want you. You can stay fit and make lifelong friendships in our great game.
Umpires Of the AFLQUA
The AFLQUA represents umpires all over Queensland who officiate in everything from the local community league on a Saturday afternoon, to the AFL.