Famous footballing fan figure Troy ‘Catman’ West has called it a day on his carefully constructed character of ‘Catman’, the Geelong Football Club’s most passionate supporter.
Proud gay man Troy explains:
I need to take control of the Catman persona that I’ve worked hard to create. I’m an openly gay, confident, loud, abrasive, energetic, creative, colourful and popular person and that sometimes isn’t what some sections of the community like.
With fame within the AFL community, there are drawbacks. There’s another side of life. There’s the constant online hate on footy forums. It’s not fun when a video of me goes viral, and I read through 20,000 comments of absolute hate, abuse, homophobia, discrimination and the worst things imaginable you can say to people.
There just isn’t room in this day and age for an outrageous colourful gay man with a big witty mouth. I’m old school. I’m not politically correct. I wasn’t brought up that way.
I struggle to adapt to the new cancel culture that’s insidiously infiltrated society. There are just too many people out to get me. I no longer wish to be under such scrutiny.
There’s a bit to process in there and he certainly is a complex, interesting figure, and people need to tread gently with him.
Catman is most remembered for his little hissy fit in 2017, when it dawned on him that his beloved Cats were about to lose to Richmond for the first time in ten years, at the worst possible time, in a Qualifying Final:
It was not this moment in the game that caused the mini meltdown:
But mundanely one of Tom
Porkins’ Hawkins’ (or some other handbagger’s) innumerable missed set shots in that game.
Other clubs have these sorts of interesting characters of course. Collingwood has Joffa:
Richmond has who people cruelly refer to as ‘KFC Boy’:
One of the many fan fic versions:
His friend Trout from Woodend is in that video too:
North Melbourne, being North Melbourne, has this character filled, chunky family:
But none of these compares to Catman and his former level of batshit crazy dedication.
Troy meanwhile vows to continue going to Geelong games, but in a plain-clothed, incognito fashion, and it’s a bit sad that the circus freak version of Troy – the legendary Catman – will no longer be seen, as these sorts of characters do make things fun.