Anytime you speak to Wayne “chuck” Hinton about football and umpiring you will have his undivided attention. With a smile on his face and a gleam in his eyes he engages anyone who wants to have a chat. Last weekend in the VAFA, Wayne took the field to umpire his 600th VAFA game in a Division one clash between Hampton Rovers and Ormond.
That feat in itself is significant as only another ex-VFL umpire, Steve McCarthy has umpired more games (631) than Wayne. But there is more.
Fifty-five year old Wayne had his 16 year old daughter, Asha, running the boundary in his milestone game. “I couldn’t have been more proud than to do the game with her,” reflected a jubilant Wayne after the game. “Asha, received the Golden Whistle award for the best umpire in the Southern Metropolitan Junior Football League last year and is currently coaching the young boundary umpires in that competition while enjoying her first year on the VAFA panel. Asha is the first boundary umpire and the first female to win the award in that league. Her dream is to umpire AFL footy, her role model is current AFL goal umpire Chelsea Roffey.”
Wayne commenced his umpiring in the VAFA before going to the VFL Cadet Squad in 1983 under the tutelage of John Sutcliffe. He was appointed to the senior VFL Panel in 1983 where he umpired for eight years until returning to the VAFA in 1992. Wayne umpired 5 senior VFL games, 100 reserve grade games and more than 50 VCFL games over that time. Wayne umpired one grand final in his time on the VFL list, a drawn grand final in the Riverina League between the Wagga Tigers and Coolamon.
Since his return to the VAFA Wayne has umpired four A-grade, four B-grade and six C-grade grand finals. The “Hinton dynasty” has its beginnings with, Wayne’s father John who umpired over 300 VAFA games and Wayne credits him as the biggest influence on his career.
While many good people are lost to footy because of business pressures, growing families, or an array of other reasons, some of the best simply allow their families grow within the confines of the footy or umpiring family and share their time as they grow.
Wayne, you have had a tough year with some health issues, we salute you on a magnificent achievement in one of the states premier football competitions. Congratulations.