A cricketer of some talent, tennis player and golfer he did not play football before he began umpiring as a club boundary in the CYMS competition in 1944. He was invited to officiate in the 1944-46 CYMS finals series.
One of three successful applicants (out of 157) he joined the VFL Second Eighteens in 1948 and ran the boundary until 1955. While on the boundary list he umpired a number of Second Eighteen finals and the 1949 VFL Thirds Grand Final.
Transferring to the goals in 1955 he was appointed to both the 1957 Second and 1957 Third Eighteens Grand Final and in 1958 he was promoted to the VFL senior list. Always active in umpires’ association affairs he was elected assistant secretary of the VFL Second Eighteen UA in 1950-51 and 1957 and secretary in 1952.
Debuting as the 137th VFL goal on 19 April 1958 at Princes Park eventually umpired 166 VFL matches between 1958 and 1968. Dan was appointed to four finals during his career and all but one were thrillers.
The 1964 VFL Preliminary Final was a low scoring affair played in the wet with Geelong missing gettable shots at goal in the last quarter and falling short of Collingwood by four points.
The 1965 Second Semi-final was a one-point thriller and Dan’s last premiership match was the 1968 VFL Grand Final. Only 11 points separated Carlton and Essendon at three-quarter time and in a tense final quarter when every foray forward was crucial Essendon going to Dan’s end kicked the only two goals of the quarter to close within a point. Geoff Blethyn had a set shot from a tight angle that Rod Tanner on the behind post called out of bounds and Carlton hung on to take the flag.
At the end of his career Parsons had umpired 166 VFL matches in 11 seasons. A VFLUA life member in 1968 his service as assistant secretary between 1966-68 was recognised with a Lifetime Achievement (Special) Award in 1969.
Dan Parsons passed away, aged 88, on 17 December 2015