Stan Jensen

Stanley Vallins Jensen was born on 1 July 1925 in Williamstown. Like many of his generation he served in the armed services during the Second World War. He joined the Royal Australian Air Force in 1943 becoming a Warrant Officer in 2 Squadron at the time of his discharge in February 1946. He married Lorna soon after and they would be together for 57 years.

Stan joined the VFL list of umpires in 1950 and for the next 17 seasons developed into one of the great country umpires that made up the majority of the then VFLUA’s membership. In most seasons his performances were rewarded with country Grand Finals.

He ultimately officiated in 292 VCFL, 8 Metropolitan, 4 Tasmanian and 11 VFL Reeserve Grade matches. Of those country matches nine were senior Grand Finals, mostly in ‘outside’ leagues.

Noted as a strong runner, he trained at the Yarraville track with his regular training partner Vin Hindson. Long before jogging became fashionable in the 1970’s, Stan could be seen running around the streets of the Western Suburbs on non-training days during his lunch break from work. A fitness fanatic, it came as an incredible shock to his umpiring colleagues when he suffered a debilitating stroke not long after his retirement from umpiring.

A butcher by trade, Stan had great personal pride in all that he did and in umpiring terms he expected that his colleagues would also have that same level of pride. The story goes that a young umpire from the Yarraville track turned up at a Thursday night coaching session at the old Richmond Technical College shabbily dressed. He was quickly taken aside by Stan and told in no uncertain terms that as a representative of the Yarraville track, the VFL and the VFLUA, he was expected to present himself in a professional manner and comply with the standards that had been established by those who had gone before and had built the image and reputation of VFL Umpires.

After ten years membership the award of Life Membership was conferred on Stan but it was not until six years later that he held his only Association position, that of Social Committee Member. In 1970 he was the recipient of a Lifetime Achievement Award.

Stanley Jensen died on 14 May 2005.

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