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AFL's longest-serving umpire to retire

Shane McInerney umpired his 500th game in the round 20 Demons v Tigers match - AFL,Tag-AFL HQ
Shane McInerney umpired his 500th game in the round 20 Demons v Tigers match

THE AFL Football Operations Department wishes to advise senior AFL Umpire Shane McInerney yesterday informed the AFL Umpiring group at training that he will be retiring following Saturday's Round 23 match between the Geelong Cats and Carlton at GMHBA Stadium. 

McInerney made his AFL umpiring debut at Princes Park in 1994, and has officiated 501 matches so far, including 26 finals. He umpired the 2004 and 2007 Toyota AFL Grand Finals and has officiated the International Rules Series on two occasions. 

McInerney broke the all-time record for the most senior games officiated in VFL/AFL history when he umpired his 496th match in Round 16 this year, surpassing the previous record of 495 set by the current AFL Umpire's Head Coach Hayden Kennedy in 2011. 

AFL Head of Umpiring Grant Williams thanked McInerney for his outstanding contribution and dedication to the game and also wished him luck for the future. 

"Shane's contribution to the game and to the AFL Umpiring community over the past 25 years has been outstanding and on behalf of the AFL and the AFL Umpires, I would like to thank Shane for his dedication," Mr Williams said.

"Currently officiating his 26th season of AFL, his record-breaking career and consistency across the years is a testament to his commitment to the game.

"Shane has worked extremely hard and dedicated a great deal of his time to the umpiring community and that is something we are very grateful for. 

"A strong leader and ambassador for umpiring across all levels of the game, Shane will be greatly missed among the umpires and we wish him and his family all the best in the future."

Shane McInerney statistics

501 AFL matches, 26 Finals
2004, 2007 Toyota AFL Grand Final
2008 State of Origin match
2 x International Rules Series