In 1977, when a young player from the Institute Football Club (today known as University) made a snide comment to an umpire during an AFLDD match, little did anyone know it would develop into a remarkable 40 year umpiring career.
Mal Pasfield this year celebrates his 40th season umpiring and his remarkable story began when he mouthed off to the umpire during an AFLDD senior match, to which the umpire replied with “if you think you can do a better job, then come to umpire training and have a go yourself”.
The following week a young Pasfield turned up to umpire training, held at Newtown at the time where he met the Regional Umpire Manager, Wayne Langford.
“I bet Wayne at the time, that I would umpire for the year and if I was to be appointed as a Grand Final Umpire, he’d have to buy myself and my family dinner” Pasfield said.
Later that season Pasfield was eventually appointed to officiate the 1977 A Grade Grand Final, a memory he holds to this day as one of the fondest in his career. Subsequently he was treated to a family dinner by the RUM at the end of the season and as they say the rest is history.
Over the years Mal has taken on numerous roles within the umpiring fraternity including stints as the Regional Umpire Manager, holding a number of executive positions on the AFLDD Umpire Association committee and in 2006 was named as AFLDD’s Administrator of the Year.
Umpiring countless games of Youth football, Reserves, Women’s, Seniors and a handful of SEQ and Representative fixtures, Pasfield has just about done it all.
“One of my proudest achievement was being selected as the umpire to represent Toowoomba when the Toowoomba representative side travelled to Maroochydore to take on the Sunshine Coast representative side in the early 80’s”.
So why does someone after 40 years want to keep umpiring? Pasfield said it’s because he “loves the game, the atmosphere of match day and the comradery of the umpiring group”.
“I’ve been treated as a part of the football community for so many years and it’s a great feeling to give back to the game I love”.
After losing his wife in 2019, Pasfield said he “was overwhelmed by the show of support from all clubs, players and coaches alike and that sense of community beyond the football field is the game’s greatest asset”.
“The best advice I can give to our young umpires is to just enjoy the game, and for anyone interested in umpiring you can enjoy it just as much as playing” the veteran said in closing.
The entire Darling Downs football community thanks Mal for his service and congratulates him on his milestone year.