Gateway to the stars

2015-04-19_Les Menzies_Ocean GroveLes Menzies, Ocean Grove v Barwon Heads

How long have been manning the gate?

Thirty-seven years. I started when I was 24.

Why did you start doing it?

I was drinking too much. I thought, ‘If I do the gate, I won’t get to the bar at midday and start drinking.’

Why do you like about it?

I like talking to the people as they come through. The people from the other clubs know me so they come through my gate.

What do you do when people try to get in free?

If you’ve got an original excuse, you get in for nothing. But after 37 years, not many excuses are original.

What’s the most common excuse?

You get blokes who tell you they paid the other bloke who was on the gate. I say, ‘Righto, mate, what was his name?’ They never come up with a name so, you just say, ‘Righto, pay up.’

Any more gate tales?

I had a couple of plain-clothes cops came up and say, ‘We’re policemen.’ I said, ‘Right, show us your badge then.’ They didn’t have a badge and I said, ‘You’ve got to pay then.’ So they left. They were real pissed off.

What makes a good man on the gate?

Bit of compassion, a few smarts, and a good eye – you’ve got to remember who’s come in.

Favourite player at Ocean Grove?

Phil Stringer, a centreman in the ‘80s. He won five best and fairests, a league best and fairest. I still think he’s the best player who’s played at the club.

Biggest crowd?

About eight or nine years ago we played Barwon Heads and took $5000 on the gate. It was only $4 to get in.

AFL team?


Favourite meal?

Roast lamb.

Favourite movie?

Anything with John Wayne in it.




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