BLG umpire Tim Asher makes it 500


Patriarch of the Asher family, Tim is a wonderful stalwart of the Barossa Light and Gawler (BLG) Football Association as a player, coach and an umpire.

On Saturday, September 23 he officiated in his 500th BLG match.

Along with Mark Pfitzner and John McGann, Asher was in control of last Saturday’s BLG Under 15s Grand Final between Willaston and Freeling.

To top off his remarkable Grand Final day achievement, Asher also was awarded Life Membership to the BLG Umpires Association.

His service to the code as a player, administrator and an official across close to half a century has been outstanding.

Asher’s 500 games of BLG football as a central umpire have included upward of 100 senior games, 91 women’s matches, almost 200 at colts level and more than 70 in the junior ranks.

For the past four years he has also officiated SAPSASA Under 13s boys and girls competitions at West Beach.

“Among his strengths are his relationship with the players, along with a good game sense,” said Hudson Noack, a BLGUA coach and lead official of the Think! Road Safety SA Country Football Championships for the past few years.

“He is highly respected around the community and besides filling his weekends with umpiring and watching a couple of generations of his family play, he does plenty of work behind the scenes.”

Before umpiring, Asher also played A grade footy for 20 years, firstly in the Central District Football Association (CDFA), with two stints at the Gawler Central Tigers and the Freeling Redlegs.

He was a part of the golden era at Cherry Road when the Freeling Football Club won three flags in a row under the guidance of former Central District defender Ian “Scratcher” McKay from 1983.

In total, Asher player 277 A grade games, including 72 games and four Grand Final appearances in four consecutive campaigns for Freeling.

He also played in the 1991 BLG premiership under the legendary Wilbur Wilson, Gawler Central’s first title in the amalgamated competition.

Predominately a tall defender, Asher also played interleague representative football for Barossa and Light, CDFA and Gawler and Districts competitions.

“I played in all of that winning sequence of 42 games at Freeling; along with Mick Ahrens, we were the only two that played every game,” Asher said.

Football started for Asher in the 1970s.

“Soccer was actually my first sport and the only junior football I played was with Eastern Park,” said Asher, aged 67.

“I started senior football at Salisbury North Hawks under former North Adelaide footballer Ian Anstey, then played at Elizabeth and Brahma Lodge, before beginning with Gawler Central in 1980.

“I finished playing in 1995.

“I was also the runner for (SA Football Hall of Famer) Peter “Milky” Vivian for three or four seasons when he coached the Tigers A-grade, including the 2001 year when Gawler Central beat Kapunda in the Grand Final.

“I started with the umpiring panel in 2009.

“Former umpires coach Carl Whitaker and I would engage in a bit of banter…I suggested he pick me up to go to umpire training – and the rest is history.

“By this time Jake had established himself as an A grade player.

“Umpiring is a bit of a bug, with 13 of our panel of umpires now 60 and over, and still going strong.

“There are over 80 positions to be filled each weekend as a field or boundary umpires across the grades and the women’s competition.”


Three generations of Ashers, from left, Lucas, Tim, Jed and Jake. Photo: Peter Argent

The next two generations of the Asher clan are currently playing for the Gawler Central Tigers.

Tim’s son, Jake, is currently sitting on 333 games for the Tigers and shares the club record for number of games played.

Jake’s son Lucas was a member of Gawler Central under-13s premiership this season, with dad Jake the team runner in the premiership victory.

Jake’s younger son, Jed, also is currently playing under-11s at the Gawler Tigers.

“Dad has definitely been a great mentor and, as a rule, made the choice not to umpire my games,” Jake explained.

“He first coached me in primary school football at Gawler East, where I now teach…he coached us in the BLG Under 15s with Gawler Tigers as well.”

A true football family.

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