Veteran Umpire Des Morgan Reflects on 46 Years of Officiating and Community Involvement Thu, June 6, 2024 - 10:45 AM

In the world of community football, few figures are as dedicated or as experienced as Des Morgan, the Perth Football League's long-serving umpire. Retired and now spending his days tending to his own garden and helping his children with theirs, Des Morgan has carved out a remarkable legacy over nearly five decades of service.

Starting his umpiring journey in 1973 with the Kellerberrin Football Club, Morgan transitioned to the Perth scene in 1977. By 1978, he was officiating with the South Suburban Murray Football League, which later became the Sunday Football League (SFL) in 1985, and eventually into the Perth Football League in 2006. His commitment to the sport is evident, having continued to umpire for an impressive 46 years.

Des Morgan's dedication to umpiring began with a simple love for football. "I was playing football when I thought I would give goal umpiring a go, so I did," he recalls. This decision marked the beginning of a storied career that has seen him become a staple of the Perth Football League. His stint included time in the WAFL, and he has remained an umpire throughout his career.

For Morgan, the allure of community football lies in the passion for the game and the camaraderie it fosters. "Doing something I have loved all my life, the people you meet and the friends you make, it gets you out of the house on weekends," he shares.

His umpiring career is decorated with numerous achievements. He has officiated 40 Grand Finals, including three League finals for the Sunday Football League. His leadership skills were recognized when he served as the SFL goal umpires coach for two years. His excellence in umpiring was acknowledged with three Umpire of the Year awards and a life membership in the SFL in 1992. Further cementing his legacy, he was inducted into the SFL Hall of Fame in 1996.

Beyond the field, his contributions to the administrative and organisational aspects of the sport are significant. He served as the Treasurer of the SFLUA from 1992 to 1996 and held various coordinating roles, including Umpiring Coordinator and Boundary Umpiring Coordinator for the West Australian Football Commission (WAFC). His dedication extended to women's football as well, serving as the West Australia Women’s Umpires Coordinator from 2013 to 2015.

Recognition of his service includes multiple commendations from the Department of Sports & Recreation and an Appreciation Award from the WAFC in 2010. Further emphasising his passion, he has diligently kept the community umpires' statistics from 1999 to the present. As the PFLUA statistician, Morgan maintains an incredible library of stats, which is highly regarded within the community.

As the Perth Football League Club Umpires Coordinator in 2021, he continued to support and nurture the next generation of umpires, ensuring the sport remains vibrant and well-organized.

Reflecting on his enduring career, Des Morgan embodies the spirit of community football. His contributions, both on and off the field, have left an indelible mark on the Perth Football League, inspiring countless others to follow in his footsteps.

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