You hear about local footy heroes turned AFL superstars, but rarely do you hear the same for an umpire. On Sunday local AFL boundary umpire Chris Roberts umpired the Melbourne V GWS game at the MCG. It was his 223rd and final game of AFL, bringing an end to his 22 year career as an umpire, 12 of those years being at elite AFL level.
Chris Roberts was born and bred as a local Warragul boy. He attended Marist Sion College in Warragul and started his umpiring career at the West Gippsland Umpires 1n 1996 By 1997 Chris umpired the senior Ellinbank District Football League grand final. From 1998-2002 he umpired five straight West Gippsland Football League grand finals. In 2003 Roberts started to umpire the VFL TAC Cup. He was appointed his first VFL senior game in 2004 and was also appointed the reserves grand fmal the same year. Chris was then later appointed to the AFL boundary list in 2006.
In his AFL career Roberts has umpired nine AFL finals including the 2014 Sydney v North Melbourne preliminary final in Sydney. Chris umpired his 200th match of AFL in 2017. As Chris entered the ground of the MCG, he was cheered on by 30 of his close fliends and family including his wife Heather and their three children Nick. Makayla and Bella, who were all proudly wearing his AFL tops in support of their dad.