Goal umpire Luke Walker was announced as the Leigh Keen Shield winner for the fourth time on Sunday. The award is the highest that can be bestowed on a goal umpire. Luke was voted by his peers as the umpire who most typified the criteria, achieving on field success, actively contributing to and supporting the AFLUA and role modelling the attributes of commitment, loyalty and dedication.
The Shield is named after Leigh Keen who consistently demonstrated those attributes throughout his 184-game career, which included 12 finals and two grand finals. Throughout his career Leigh committed himself to association affairs holding positions as treasurer, secretary and statistician. Leigh was awarded a lifetime achievement award for his outstanding service as a life member. He is also a member of the AFLUA Hall of Fame.
Leigh presented his award to Luke and said, “I have never seen a more gifted goal umpire in my time. Your selflessness is to behold and you have never once got a “big head” despite your success.”
Luke decided to retire at the conclusion of the 2017 season, having umpired 261 AFL games, the most finals of any goal umpire in the VFL/AFL’s history (37) and 7 AFL grand finals in equal second spot with Anthony Black. He was the AFLUA All-Australian goal umpire for the fifth time and worked tirelessly with all goal umpires to continuously improve the standards.