The AFLUA is delighted to welcome seven new Life Members who were inducted at the AGM in February.
Congratulations to AFLUA members Curtis Deboy, Luke Edwards, Leigh Fisher, Craig Fleer and Leigh Haussen who received their 10-year service Life Membership, and Andy Stephens and Mark Fraser, who were awarded Honorary Life Memberships.
Curtis Deboy – Heritage Number 432
Field umpire Curtis Deboy joined the AFL Rookies’ list in 2013, and made his AFL debut two years later. He has since officiated in 130 AFL matches*.
Curtis made his way into the AFL scene after a strong track record in the SANFL, where he won the SANFL Golden Whistle (2013), umpired in the 2012 and 2013 SANFL Grand Finals, and was adjudged the SANFLUA’s Most Dedicated Field Umpire in 2013.
Curtis’ work ethic and professionalism have proved to be his assets in the AFL Seniors’ list, where he has been an integral part of the field umpires’ Leadership Group. He has been a keen supporter of AFLUA affairs as well.
Luke Edwards – Heritage Number 332
Goal umpire Luke Edwards is a 133-game* AFL veteran with almost a decade of officiating under his belt, following his debut in 2013.
After taking up umpiring with the Western Australian Amateur Football League in 2005, he waved the flags at the 2011 and 2012 WAFL Grand Finals, and was named the Merv Carter Medalist in 2012.
He has been based in Victoria for the past few seasons, and continues to be a respected member of the group, thanks to his determination to give his best.
Leigh Fisher – Heritage Number 429
After playing football with St Kilda in the AFL, Leigh Fisher stepped into field umpiring with the VAFA in 2011 and was appointed to the AFL List in 2013.
Thriving on his dedication to training and preparation, Leigh has continued to set high standards that have seen him take charge of 196 AFL matches*, and being awarded as the ‘Most Promising First or Second Year Umpire’ in 2014.
As an active member of the AFLUA, Leigh was a Field Umpire Representative on the AFLUA Executive Committee from 2015 to 2017.
Craig Fleer – Heritage Number 426
After his move into umpiring with the Glenelg SASFA in 2000, field umpire Craig Fleer climbed the ranks at SANFL steadily. He was SANFL’s Most Improved Field Umpire in 2011. In 2015, he officiated in the SANFL Grand Final, and claimed the Golden Whistle Award.
A move to the AFL List in 2012 saw his umpiring career forge ahead, with the 2020 AFL Grand Final and 183 AFL matches* to his credit.
Craig is another respected member of the SA umpiring contingent, and is a part of the Leadership Group.
Leigh Haussen – Heritage Number 437
Another experienced field umpire within the AFL ranks, Leigh Haussen has enjoyed a career spanning almost a decade, culminating into 104 AFL matches*. His maiden AFL match was in 2017, and he umpired his 100th match in Season 2022.
A valued colleague among the field umpiring cohort, Leigh is known for his work rate and consistency with the whistle, as well as his support for up-and-coming umpires in the State and national scenes.
Leigh’s SANFL umpiring journey began in 2006, and he went on to officiate in successive State League Grand Finals between 2010 and 2013, as well as being recognised with the 2012 SANFL Golden Whistle award.
*Total number of matches umpired at the time they became eligible for AFLUA life membership.
A well-known figure within the AFL umpiring scene, Andy Stephens has continued to provide excellent physical conditioning, treatment and rehabilitation support for the umpires.
Following his initial move into AFL in 2005, he has given 15 years of service to the industry, including a three-year spell at Hawthorn Football Club (2008-2010).
Andy’s expertise, diligence and commitment to care are highly valued by the umpiring group not only in Melbourne, but also nationally.
Mark Fraser has enjoyed a diverse and long-standing career in the AFL industry: as a player, field umpire, Head Physiotherapist and Match Review Panel Chairman.
Mark’s days as an AFL footballer saw him amass over 100 career league matches at the highest level. He moved to umpiring with the VFL, and debuted in the AFL in 2005. He was one of the pioneers from recent decades who transitioned into umpiring as an ex-player.
Although injuries hampered his AFL umpiring career – which saw him retire after the 2007 season – Mark has been involved as the Head Physiotherapist with the AFL umpiring department, and continues to provide his valuable experience and support for the umpiring contingent.
During his time as an AFL umpire and an AFLUA member, Mark had a strong involvement with the Association, as he brought his football knowledge and perspective to the fore significantly.