Having seen 53 years of community football, Noel Edgar shares his story Wed, April 17, 2024 - 3:45 PM

The Perth Football League fosters a community like no other. Our game features people from all walks of life, providing an environment that many call home. A huge and important part of our great game are the umpires who turn up week in week out, some for many decades. One such umpire has turned out for a massive 53 years seeing many changes over his journey. 

Noel Edgar shared his story with the PFL to provide some insight into his incredible umpiring career.

Noel’s career starts in junior footy, for East Fremantle, before being part of the working group that created the Old Wesley Football Club. Many readers will only know the club as Curtin University Wesley and Noel is hugely proud to have watched the club grow to where it is now.

From mid-season in 1970 Noel began his immense umpiring journey. From that day, Noel has seen well over 1,000 WAAFL/PFL games, officiating in several grand finals and witnessing some of the best amateur players to have taken the field. On top of the PFL games, Noel has umpired in a range of Country leagues and junior matches. His total is around 1,700 games which is an astounding number and testament to Noel’s passion for community football.

It's the strong sense of community that has kept Noel coming back over so many years, now playing a role in mentoring young umpires who are just starting to get into their own careers. The improvement in the respect shown by spectators, players, officials, and all parts of the game has played an important role in umpires wanting to continue in the role.

Noel says “We are all part of the game; it is so different these days to see the improved respect that comes from those mentioned. It makes you want to continue umpiring.”

“The league has done a mighty job to educate all and sundry about how the officials should be treated.”

PFL CEO Andrew Dawe highlighted, “it’s important to the league that our umpires, and all volunteers, are respected. Positive gameday behaviour and proactive people is what builds strong cultures within both our clubs and our umpiring fraternity. It’s great to have people like Noel in our game and we should celebrate their achievements as much as possible.”

Being around the game for so long has given Noel an inside view to not only how the PFL has evolved but the game in general. When asked how Noel maintains fair play on the field, Noel remarks, “the game is always evolving, and the players must be kept aware of any changes from year to year. Umpires need to be firm but not over the top in their control. It’s important to know the laws of the game and speak clearly to players and officials. Be fair and in control.”

Two memorable moments for Noel were travelling to Hong Kong as Umpire of the Year to officiate an ex-pats match and in 2003 he umpired a match between Nollamara and West Coast Cowan where a player’s prosthetic leg came off in general play.

It’s fair to say that Noel has seen it all.

Noel, just like many of the PFL umpires are integral to the competition. It has been said many times, that without umpires there’s no game. 

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