Umpire in a league of his own

Umpire in a league of his own

Senior South East football field umpire Bruce McLaughlin brought up a special milestone on Saturday when he officiated his 500th game.

The milestone match came in the Mid South East Football League.

McLaughlin has been one of the most distinctive figures on football ovals across the South East for almost three decades due to his imposing 195cm height, handlebar moustache, signalling and loud voice.

In addition, his umpiring career has taken him to the Western Border, Kowree Naracoorte Tatiara and South West District leagues.

McLaughlin has also been a long-time A Grade cricket umpire, has officiated volleyball and is a keen and competitive cyclist.

He made his Western Border umpiring debut in 1995 after one season of playing B Grade at Port MacDonnell and then two seasons as a club goal umpire with the Mid SE Demons.

His first experience of blowing the whistle was an Under 18’s West Gambier versus Heywood fixture and he also umpired the B Grade on that day.

McLaughlin then enjoyed a meteoric rise through the umpiring ranks of the Western Border.

Just three years after his first match, he officiated his first Western Border A Grade grand final in 1998.

McLaughlin’s expertise as a goal umpire also led to an appointment to a SANFL Reserves match at AAMI Stadium in Adelaide which was a curtain-raiser for a Port Adelaide and Essendon AFL match.

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