AFL umpire Scott McLaren to retire - Sports News - Fanatics - the world's biggest events

AFL umpire Scott McLaren to retire

25/08/2010 05:30:06 PM Comments (0)

Retiring AFL field umpire Scott McLaren's moment in the spotlight was his clash with Essendon legend James Hird, but it was also McLaren's darkest hour.

The 42-year-old will umpire his 365th and last game on Sunday at the MCG when Melbourne host North Melbourne.

Hird in 2004 labelled McLaren "disgraceful".

"As we saw last week (when Hird said he was keen to coach Essendon one day), it wasn't the first time Hirdy's put his foot in his mouth," McLaren told the website on Wednesday.

Hird made the comment on The Footy Show in the week after Essendon had been beaten by St Kilda in round two, 2004.

The Bombers skipper was fined $20,000 for his outburst.

"I don't think James realised the impact of what he was saying," McLaren said.

"It affects grassroots footy because people think it gives them the right to go out and abuse umpires in suburban and country leagues and that's not what we're about."

Hird and McLaren later made up and the pair say hello when their paths cross at matches, McLaren said.

Making his debut in 1994, McLaren's tally of 365 games trails only Hayden Kennedy, Rowan Sawers and Darren Goldspink.

McLaren officiated in the 1999, 2001, 2005, 2007 and 2008 grand finals.

"Being able to say I paid the Leo Barry mark, I'll certainly use that at a few sportsmen's nights," he said.

McLaren hasn't made the umpiring squad for the finals series in an injury-plagued 2010 season.

"My form's been up and down," he said.

"But Melbourne and North is the last home-and-away game of the year, so that's a good note to go out on."

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