Community Umpire Round: BJ Workman hangs up the whistle

By Alice Barker

One of AFL Queensland’s most dedicated community umpires, BJ Workman, is set to hang up the whistle this week following a decades-long career in the green.

With Workman scheduled for surgery this week after recurring neck injuries which effectively ruled him out of officiating at all this season, the decision was made to retire from umpiring. 

During his time in the green, Workman umpired over of 560 matches including 416 AFL Queensland appointments.

His efforts were recognised by his appointments to 14 Grand Finals, including four as Emergency Umpire.

Due to recurring neck injuries, Workman is scheduled for surgery on the 2nd of May, and is taking this chance to end his brilliant career.

The dedicated umpire expressed his sadness over this result but looks back on his work fondly.

“For the last 30 years I have been very actively involved in AFL football,” said Workman.

“My personal highlight was the honour of being awarded the Community Umpires Umpire award at the AFLQUA awards night in 2016.”

Workman became engrossed in the sport early 1989 in Victoria, when he obtained a coordination role with the old Vickick, which then expanded onto the South East region.

He was involved in the original setting up and running of the grid games at the MCG and at VFL Park, Waverly.

Workman became a level two accredited coach in the junior and youth level and served on the Australian Football League Coaches Association Executive Committee.

Not only did Workman coach the sport, he also tried his hand at Superules and Master’s Footy when he and his family relocated to the Sunshine State in 1996.

Workman then went on to represent Queensland in seven National Carnivals, which was where his interest in umpiring was sparked, leading to him umpiring three National Carnivals at Superules.

It was at the beginning of the 2007 season where Workman decided to prioritise umpiring and phased out of MAF Queensland and AFL Masters.

Workman obtained his level two accreditation in umpiring didn’t look back.

His dedication and commitment in all facets of the sport will be long remembered and the league wishes him and successful and fast recovery.

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