ARTHUR Watson made his umpiring debut at Don Dawson Oval, Cabramatta.
He was controlling a Fairfield Liverpool association game.
Watson's Sydney grade debut was in 1970 at Waverley Oval.
On Saturday he set a Sydney Cricket Association record umpiring his 700th game at the ground where it all began, in the fifth grade clash between Fairfield Liverpool and the University of NSW.
This is the most games by an umpire in the association's history.
Watson's overall breakdown includes 365 in first grade, 50 in seconds, 78 in thirds, 20 in fourths, 68 in fifths and 19 shires association matches.
His distinguished career also includes 10 first class matches, three one-day men's internationals, an under-19s match between Australia and Pakistan and a women's one-dayer between Australia and New Zealand.
Watson, 73, was one of the founding members, and is patron of, Fairfield Liverpool Cricket Club.
The Sydney Cricket Association made a special presentation to Watson before play started at Don Dawson Oval on Saturday.
Fairfield Liverpool Club president Richard Gerdes said Watson has made a significant contribution to cricket.
"Arthur has done so much for so many people," Gerdes said.
"He started Southern Districts Cricket Club, which then led to the formation of Fairfield Liverpool.
"The Lions played made their first grade debut in the 1985-86 season.
"Arthur is such a humble and unassuming man.
"He has been so generous with his time and he attends all our club functions."
Gerdes said many umpires had been helped by Watson.
Watson said it was a special occasion on Saturday, and it meant a lot to him.
He said he had many friends in cricket and was grateful for what the game had done for his life.
Watson is a life member of the Fairfield Liverpool Cricket Umpires Association, the NSW Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association and the Sydney Cricket Association.