Fairfield-Liverpool stalwart set to umpire 800th game

 Record-breaker: Arthur Watson before umpiring his 750th game in 2017. Picture: Chris Lane
Record-breaker: Arthur Watson before umpiring his 750th game in 2017. Picture: Chris Lane

From schoolyard cricket, to first grade games and now umpiring - Arthur Watson has dedicated his life to the great Aussie game.

This weekend the Old Guildford resident will take to Rosedale Oval to umpire his 800th game.

In the 128 year history of Sydney Grade/NSW Premier Cricket, no umpire has officiated more matches than the 80-year-old.

Watson said he enjoyed the camaraderie, the competiveness and the friendships he developed through cricket.

"After 30 plus seasons in first grade my role in the association (NSWCU&SA) today is to foster and mentor the new umpires progressing through the grades," he said.

"I am officiating with one of those lads, Sathish Kumar.

"I am very proud to have been part of his development as an umpire. Sathish has officiated at first grade level earlier this season.

"It is exciting to be officiating in my 800th Sydney Cricket Association Grade at Rosedale Oval but 'after all it is just a number and another game of cricket, every game brings its own excitement'."

Watson first picked up the bat as a schoolboy, he then began playing Saturday afternoon cricket in the Fairfield area in 1955.

The avid cricket fan, one of the founding members and patron of the Fairfield Liverpool Cricket Club, made his Sydney grade debut in 1970 at Waverley Oval - three years after making the transition from player to umpire.

Watson's overall breakdown includes 365 games in first grade, 60 in seconds, 83 in thirds,129 in fourths, 92 in fifths and 21 shires association matches.

His distinguished career also includes three one-day men's internationals in the summer of 1979/80, 10 first class matches and a women's one-day international.

"In summary this is my 66th continuous season of cricket in the Fairfield area and 51st season in grade umpiring," Watson said.

When asked if he thought he'd make the 1000 game milestone Watson said: "As we only have 15 rounds per season 1000 is a little out of reach. I guess if one counted every match I have umpired, outside Sydney Cricket Association matches, the number could well be double this SCA milestone of 800."

Watson is a life member of the Sydney Cricket Umpires Association, New South Wales Cricket Umpires and Scorers Association, Fairfield -Liverpool Cricket Umpires Association and the Fairfield-Liverpool Cricket Club (Lions).

The umpires' Room at Rosedale Oval is named the 'Arthur Watson Umpires Room' and the Fairfield- Liverpool Lions and Campbelltown-Camden Ghosts play annually for the 'Arthur Watson Rivalry Round Cup'.

This story Fairfield-Liverpool stalwart set to umpire 800th game first appeared on Liverpool City Champion.