Peter White in action.

Recognising the Men in the Middle

AFL Canberra umpiring history was rewritten on Saturday 28th August, 2010 when AFL Canberra Division 1 umpires Peter White and Greg Healy officiated in their 471st and 200th games respectively at Ainslie Oval when Ainslie played host to Eastlake in the final round of the AFL Canberra Labor Club home & away season.

White surpassed Doug Malcolm’s all time record creating his own piece of AFL Canberra history in his 471st game.

White’s impressive umpiring feat began four decades ago in 1979 when he first pulled on the white coat and hat to start what has become a 32 year commitment to umpiring in the ACTAFL/AFL Canberra Division 1 competition.

White has been recognised as the leading Goal Umpire, now immortalised through the presentation of the Jack Perry Award (Goal Umpire of the Year Award) on two occasions in 1989 and again in 1994. White also became a Life member of the Umpire Association at the conclusion of the 1988 season and was awarded the Umpire Association's highest honour the Frank Leverett Award (Outstanding Contribution to Umpiring Award) in 1996 for his services to umpiring.

Another umpiring milestone that was recognised at the Ainslie v Eastlake match was that of Greg Healy who officiated his 200th ACTAFL/AFL Canberra Division 1 match. Healy was proud to join his milestone counterpart in the middle at Ainslie Oval.

When asked about his milestone achievement Healy said it was something he hadn’t thought too much about but was proud of his achievement

“I hadn't really thought about the milestone until recently and thought it would be a nice number to achieve. I never imagined when I started doing Division 1 that I would get to 200 games, so to get there is quite a good feeling,” Healy said.

Healy’s umpiring career began in 1995 and during the 16 seasons that have followed he has been recognised as the leading Field Umpire through the awarding of the Golden Whistle (Best Field Umpire Award) in 2008, and through his contribution to umpiring the Frank Leverett Award (Outstanding Contribution to Umpiring) in 2004, the same season he received Life Membership of the Umpire's Association.

When asked what has kept him coming back for all these years Healy said “for me, the team I am running around with is very important. I enjoy the running around the training track and the footy field with the other umpires.

“There is a sense of camaraderie amongst the umpiring group that I enjoy. The opportunity to umpire at the highest level in AFL Canberra also allows me get close to players with amazing skills,” Healy said.

 

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