85. Les Manson

Umpire Inductee

TANFL/Country Associations/Interstate Matches, Boundary/Field Umpire, 1963-1990

More than 600 games officiated
Officiated four TANFL Grand Finals – 1975, 1976, 1978, 1979
Multiple State Match Umpire
State Director of Umpire Coaching 1990
TFLUA Life Member
Tasmanian Football Hall of Fame Inductee 2005
Tasmanian Football Umpires Hall of Fame 2010

One of the great characters of umpiring in the state, Les Manson was an ever-present figure of TANFL matches throughout the 1960’s and 70’s. Beginning his career as a boundary umpire in 1963 as a 21-year old, Manson had the honour of running the boundary during the 1966 Hobart Carnival. After switching to field umpiring in 1967, Manson had the rare distinction of making his senior umpiring debut in his first season; his second senior match was a memorable one, with Manson umpiring his brother, Glenorchy champion and fellow Tasmanian Football Hall of Famer Jim Manson. During his 14-season career as a field umpire Les Manson officiated in four TANFL senior Grand Finals, the most memorable being the 1979 epic between Clarence and Glenorchy in front of a record attendance at North Hobart Oval. He was a regular official in state representative matches, sharing the whistle-blowing duties with vaunted interstate contemporaries such as Kevin Smith and Bill Deller from the VFL. Ever the innovator, he was also instrumental in the TANFL adopting the two-umpire system along with Richard Hancock, following the lead of the VFL in this endeavour. After officiating in more than 600 matches across multiple age groups and associations over 17 years, Manson hung up his whistle at the end of the 1980 season. Post retirement, he briefly held the position of TFL Umpire director under Brian Eade, while his contributions to umpiring in the state were recognised in later years with induction into the Tasmanian Umpires Hall of Fame in 2010 as well as life membership in the Tasmanian Football League Umpires Association.