Perth-based AFL and WAFL umpire Dean Margetts will umpire his 400th league match when he umpires the St. Kilda and Essendon game at Etihad Stadium on Friday, July 14.
Over his umpiring career, Dean has officiated in 109 WAFL matches and this weekend will mark his 291st AFL game.
Dean entered the football scene as a junior football player and later played for the Maddington Bulls in the Sunday League.
It was in 1996 Dean decided to give umpiring a shot to earn some coin and his natural talent was quickly picked up by David Johnson, the Umpire Manager at the time, who attended a South Perth junior football match Dean was umpiring in.
Dean commenced umpiring at the WAFL level in 1998 and was appointed his first League game in the opening round of the following season.
After only 38 WAFL League games Dean umpired his first WAFL grand final in 2000 and won the Brett Rosebury Medal, formerly known as the Grant Vernon Medal, for the most improved umpire.
It wasn’t long until Dean was appointed to the AFL list and in Round 5 of the 2002 season he made his AFL umpiring debut at the West Coast Eagles – Brisbane clash.
Over the following few seasons Dean knuckled down and learnt all the ins and outs of umpiring at the elite level, which resulted in a break-out season in 2007.
It was a season to remember for Dean which saw him umpire in his first AFL Finals match between Geelong and North Melbourne.
In 2008 Dean received Life Membership of the West Australian National Football League Umpire Association (WANFLUA) and hit his 100-AFL game milestone when he umpired the West Coast Eagles – Carlton clash.
Dean took some time off with the family for the second half of the 2008 season and officiated at the WAFL level for a few seasons.
In 2012 Dean was selected into to the WANFLUA Team of the Decade joining umpires Brett Rosebury, Craig Hendrie with Luke Farmer on the bench.
2013 was an incredible season for Dean who umpired his 200th AFL game at the MCG on June 10 in front of a crowd of more than 80,000 and was rewarded with a preliminary final appointment.
Dean experienced a very emotional 2016 season, which involved being hospitalised for two weeks after falling ill on a flight home from Adelaide.
WAFL Umpire Manager Darryl Sinclair said it proved to be a tough time for Dean who underwent a long recovery and specialised training program to get back to good health.
“With the help of coaching staff and Luke Daniher’s training program, Dean was able to return to the AFL and ended up umpiring a final that season,” he said.
This year Dean was recognised by the AFL and received AFL Life Membership.
Darryl Sinclair congratulated Dean on his milestone and achievement.
“It is an achievement that will stand for several years, if not forever and in a few years’ time Dean will look back and think the boy from Maddington has made it,” he said.
Congratulations Dean Margetts.