THE AFL Football Operations Department wishes to advise senior AFL Umpire Shaun Ryan yesterday informed the AFL Umpiring group that he will be retiring following the 2020 Toyota AFL Finals Series.
Ryan made his AFL Umpiring debut in 2003, and has officiated 346 matches so far, including 38 finals.
A barrister outside of football, Ryan initially retired at the end of the 2011 season having umpired five Grand Finals in succession from 2008 – 2011 (including the 2010 drawn Grand Final).
Ryan then returned to umpiring AFL football in 2015 and has gone on to umpire the 2017, 2018 and 2019 Grand Finals.
A two-time All Australian and an AFL Life Member, Ryan said it has been a privilege to umpire AFL football.
"Like a lot of Warrnambool kids growing up, the dream was to play AFL football. I worked out pretty quickly that wasn’t going to happen," Ryan said.
"Umpiring gave me the opportunity to be involved with the greatest sport at the highest level.
"To be honest, my overall feeling is gratitude. To be given the opportunity to umpire AFL football, to be involved in so many amazing games and, most of all, to do it with the most amazing group humans – it has been a huge privilege."
AFL Head of Umpiring Grant Williams thanked Ryan for his outstanding contribution and dedication to the game and also wished him luck for the upcoming finals series and the future.
"Shaun’s contribution to the game and to the AFL Umpiring community over almost two decades has been outstanding and on behalf of the AFL and the AFL Umpires, I would like to thank Shaun for his dedication," Mr Williams said.
"To have umpired in eight AFL Grand Finals across his career is a great achievement and a testament to his commitment to the game and consistency across the years.
"Shaun 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, Shaun will be greatly missed among the umpires and we wish him and his family all the best in the future."
Games: 346 AFL matches
All Australian: 2010, 2019
Grand Finals: 2008, 2009, 2010 (2), 2011, 2017, 2018, 2019