A typical winters afternoon in Queensland, 22 degrees and sunny, greeted 45 past and current members and their partners for lunch.
Randall Gibson, Stephen Butler and current goal umpire, Troy Mavroudis were presented with their life memberships. Brisbane Lions assistant coach Adrian Fletcher spoke about his career and current day football strategy in a Q and A session with life member, Phil Waight.
Life member presentations
Randall Gibson began his career as a boundary umpire with the southern umpires in Melbourne in 1990 under the tutelage of Kevin Smith. Randall umpired the 1992 Under 18 grand final. In 1993 he was appointed to the AFL reserves finals and made the senior panel in 1994. A first game watched by 85,000 spectators at the “G” was an amazing initiation when Carlton played Collingwood.
In a twist, Randall and his wife made a lifestyle decision to move to Brisbane and from 1996 until his retirement at the end of 1999 Randall umpired AFL football in Brisbane and Sydney. His career tally finished at 76 games.
Randall has been an associate member until his elevation to life membership. He is still giving back to footy and umpiring by field umpiring in the QAFL division one seniors and in junior footy, where he is umpiring with his daughter, Courtney who is showing promise as a boundary umpire.
According to Jim McMaster, Stephen Butler was always going to struggle as a goal umpire because of his lack of height. Stephen started his career as a field umpire in 1979 in NSW. He moved to Queensland in 1984 before deciding that it was as a goal umpire that he would make his mark. An elevation to the AFL panel saw Stephen umpire 36 AFL matches including one final (North Melbourne v. West Coast) between 1989 and 1994, the period that AFL football was trying to break into the Northern states sporting psyche. Stephen combined his eight years of service on the list with two years as an associate member to qualify for his life membership. Stephen remembers his umpiring days with great fondness, he was the first Queensland based umpire to be appointed to a final and his many tussles with Roger Merritt, the Brisbane captain in that era.
Current goal umpire, Troy Mavroudis made an unlikely debut into AFL football when he was listed mid-season following a misadventure by a couple of then listed umpires that saw them demoted. Troy commenced his career as a boundary umpire until a foot injury curtailed his running exploits. He only had three years of goal umpiring under his belt when he hit the big time. Troy has amassed 126 games, the second highest of any Queensland listed umpire. Only Aaron Deckys with 215 games has been a longer servant of the game. The quietly spoken Troy thanked his running colleagues and coaches for their support in getting him to this milestone.