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The moment the AFL’s most senior umpire realised crowd abuse went too far

3aw drive

The AFL’s most senior umpire says it wasn’t until he sat in the crowd as a spectator that he realised just how abusive fans can be.

Shane McInerney will break the record for games umpired this weekend when he officiates his 496th AFL match.

Speaking on 3AW Drive, McInerney said it was hard to clearly hear what fans were saying from the stands while he was working out on the ground.

But that changed when he took a friend to this year’s Anzac Day clash between Collingwood and Essendon at the MCG.

“I think it went beyond barracking, in terms of their thoughts about what the umpires were doing, what the opposition players were doing,” McInerney said on 3AW.

“It really actually caught me by surprise, to the point where I actually went back home after the game and watched the replay to see if I was seeing something other people weren’t seeing.”

Click PLAY below to jump in the studio to see what he said

Click PLAY below to hear the full interview