Milestones don’t come much bigger, but ahead of his 800th game Brian Walker has no aspirations of calling stumps on his long career as an umpire.
Walker will bring up the special mark when officiating the clash between St Michaels and Kooringal Colts at Robertson Oval on Saturday.
Umpiring in Wagga for the first time in 1990, the 71-year-old still loves being out in the middle.
“I just enjoy it and keep doing it,” Walker said.
“Even as a kid when I was playing at school I always used to go out and umpire.
“Sometimes I wouldn’t last in the middle long so I’d go out and umpire and just happened to keep do it.”
The fact he’s always right certainly helps.
It’s part of what he likes about being in the middle so much
“I get the satisfaction of being right,” Walker said.
“And if they think you’re wrong you are still right and it is an instinct mainly.
“You know when a bloke has hit the ball and if you’re unsure you have to give the benefit of the doubt to the batsmen.
“It’s the same as lbws.
“The amount of times you see a bloke nearly bowled and you think he’s bowled him but he’s missed the stumps so it has to be pretty plum as everyone knows around here.”
It’s not just in cricket that Walker likes to be in charge.
He also refereed 211 centres across all the grades in Group Nine plus over 1000 touchlines before handing over his whistle.
But he’s stuck with cricket and can’t see any reason to give it away just yet.
He’s also still playing cricket and was part of a Golden Oldies tour to New Zealand this year and has penciled in a tour to England to be his last hurrah in two years time.
Walker umpired nine straight first grade grand finals, numerous lower grade deciders and a plethora of representative games including O’Farrell Cup, the NSW Women’s Country Championships as well as a Australian Country Championships match in 1999.
Walker decided to partner with Cootamundra’s Pat Kerin in his milestone match.
Kerin said he was surprised but very honoured to be asked to stand with someone who had an outstanding contribution to Wagga.