By Armin Richter
Glen James was born into a sporting family in Monbulk and from an early age he had a great love of watching the local football and cricket. He would follow all the results of Monbulk and his adopted VFL club Hawthorn. Glen became an avid Hawthorn fan in 1965 when Hawthorn great David Parkin was a teacher at Monbulk Primary School. Through the 70’s and 80’s, Glen would follow Hawthorn to wherever they played in Melbourne, knowing the train and bus timetables backwards weeks in advance of each game.
By 1993 he had decided to stop going to AFL matches and he would watch his local side Monbulk again. Glen would keep his own notes on the progressive scores of the games that he watched. His love of the scores drew him towards the scoreboard and he offered his services to operate the scoreboard for the football club for season 1994. Usually a scoreboard attendant would have to be bribed with a pie and soft drink to do the thankless task for a game but such was Glen’s enthusiasm for the job that he not only volunteered to do it for nothing but also to do all three games – Under 18s, Reserves and Seniors. This was a long day with a 10am start and a 4:30-5pm finish.
Rain, hail or shine, Glen would be one of the first at the ground each week and for the next 25 years did not miss a single weekend of duty. As soon as one season finished he would approach the President and again commit for the next season, before the cricket had even begun. As sure as night follows day, if Monbulk was playing at home then Glen would be in the box, with his trusty radio tuned into Hawthorn matches for update scores.
In 2000 he won Monbulk FC’s Best Club Person award and in 2008 he was made a Life Member of the Monbulk Football Netball Club. In the end he outlasted the actual scoreboard. The scoreboard box that had originally sat beside the clubrooms on the top wing was modified and moved to the bottom wing in the early 2000s. By 2018 it was decommissioned as a new electronic scoreboard was built as part of the ground redevelopment.
To recognise Glen’s remarkable service of operating the scoreboard for a quarter of a century, the Monbulk Football Netball Club, in consultation with the Monbulk Junior FC and Monbulk Cricket Club, have decided to name the new scoreboard as the Glen James Scoreboard.