Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Lucas Calls Stumps on Umpiring Career

Newspaper article Fraser Coast Chronicle (Hervey Bay, Australia)

Lucas Calls Stumps on Umpiring Career

Article excerpt

Griffith Thomas


THE Fraser Coast Cricket finals get underway today, but one familiar face won't be there after calling stumps on his umpiring career.

Long-serving umpire John Lucas has announced his retirement as a senior umpire in regional cricket, after 30 straight years officiating matches.

The 71 year old's last assignment was last Saturday's A-grade clash between Bombers Bushrangers and Past Grammars Blue at Keith Dunne Oval where players formed a guard of honour and clapped Lucas off the ground.

Despite being disappointed that he had to step down because of a dodgy knee, the retired butcher, who grew up in Warrnambool and moved to Hervey Bay in 2012, felt it was the right time to hang up his counter.

"I really hate having to give it away," he said.

"I had a knee replacement in July and copped a whack on my knee during a game four weeks ago and the doctor told me there might have been a message in that.

"I've been in cricket for 60 years and played lot of other sports, which have fallen by the wayside because of my age.

"Cricket was the last thing I was hanging onto sport-wise and I will miss it terribly."

Lucas made his umpiring debut in 1985 when he officiated a B-grade showdown between Wesley and West Warrnambool.

He has seen many good players go on and make a name for themselves, including three-time Brisbane Lions premiership player Jonathan Brown who used to play alongside his father Brian and his brother Matthew before his AFL career took off.

One of his greatest achievements, though, was in 2004 when he took charge of a Melbourne District match between Melbourne and North Melbourne.

The match was taken to Port Fairy and involved former Australian Test all-rounder Andrew McDonald and footballer Liam Pickering, who was also a talented cricketer.

It would be one of Lucas' last matches he would stand in before moving to Hervey Bay where he became one of the most respected umpires due to his excellent decision-making skills and thorough professionalism. …

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