IN John DeGrandi's 51 year-stint at South Warrnambool, a lot has changed.
His enthusiastic approach to umpiring and supporting the Roosters, however, has not.
The 64-year-old will celebrate a five-decade long presence at Friendly Societies Park with bumper milestone - his 1000th match as an umpire - on Saturday.
"I absolutely love it. See, all I'd be doing if I wasn't doing this is staring at the four walls and I'd soon get sick of doing that," he laughed.
"It gives me something to do and you meet people that way."
The majority of DeGrandi's tally came as a boundary umpire for the Roosters' under 18 side. Now, he can be found between the goals.
DeGrandi, who has missed just one season since joining the Roosters in 1969, swapped whistle for flags two years ago after a chat with club doctor Phil Hall.
"He got me aside one day and said 'right John, it's about time you gave this running up and let the young kids have a go at it," he said.
"I wouldn't even last a minute doing it now. My body wouldn't be able to handle it.
"But I love the goal umpiring. You can't afford to miss anything - you have to be switched on."
DeGrandi - a well known figure around the South Warrnambool traps - rates the atmosphere and buzz of the club as its strongest trait.
He also volunteers as a water carrier for the club's under 16s, 18s and seniors on training nights.
"That keeps me involved," DeGrandi said. "The camaraderie of the players, coaches, netballers and supporters is bloody great."
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