Sydney Roosters Membership records continue to be smashed as the Club has officially reached 15,000 Members in record time ahead of the 2022 NRL season.
Despite facing plenty of adversity over the last two seasons being unable to see their team on a consistent basis, Roosters Members have emulated the tenacity and passion of the players with their unwavering dedication to the Club.
Call Yourself A Rooster
Recent trends around Sydney Roosters Membership include:
- Exceptional renewal rates: in 2021, 93% of 2020 Members renewed despite challenges around covid including attendance concessions.
- Queensland Membership growing by 70% since 2018.
- 15,000 total Members reached in 2022, two months earlier than in 2021.
- The Club’s long-standing Membership record being broken in 2021.
The exponential growth in numbers hasn’t gone unnoticed by some of the Club’s most passionate supporters either - who shared their experiences as committed Members and why they are proud to call themselves a Rooster.
Tikellis Family – 10 Year Bronze Members
The family’s love and dedication for the Roosters began with Steve’s admiration for the Club as a youngster in the mid-1970s, watching the likes of Arthur Beetson and Ron Coote hold aloft numerous trophies in one of the finest eras in the Club's history.
Despite originally hailing from Marrickville and moving to St Marys, it soon became a family affair for the Tikellis', spanning decades in the Red, White and Blue, which has now seen his wife, son and daughter signing up for Membership.
“When I was younger I always liked the Red, White and Blue colours. There was a family friend who had a house in Bronte and we used to go there a lot. Obviously, that’s Roosters territory and that’s how it really started,” Steve explains.
“I was a passionate Roosters fan, but not a Member at that stage. I’ve never waned or changed my allegiance and it became so infectious that my parents and siblings began supporting the Club.
“I started dabbling in Membership about 20 years ago back and forth, but I soon realised how valuable Membership is. I’ve stuck with it and made my son a Member and over the last few years, the whole family have become Members.
“There are some great benefits with Membership: firstly it supports the Club, secondly there are great discounts on merchandise and the communication is great with additional and early information about news and events.
I soon realised how valuable Membership is. I’ve stuck with it and made my son a Member and over the last few years, the whole family have become Members.Steve Tikellis Sydney Roosters Bronze Member
“Looking ahead there’s the fact that we’ll have reserved seats in that nice, new stadium. It’s going to be awesome, it will be fantastic. I can’t wait.
“It’s also the little things like Lindsay Collins sending my son a video message for his birthday. Things like that really mean a lot.
“I think that the more fans that turn into Members, the more support it shows to the Club, and it shows that they’re doing the right thing. As a fan, you put your money where your mouth is."
Wayne Leong – 27 Year Chookpen Member
Ardent Roosters Members and supporters will be able to recognise Wayne Leong – who has famously become a beacon of the Chookpen Supporter Group with his colourfully characterised banners and infectious cheering.
Since the mid-1990s Wayne has committed as a Member, which is an experience that he says has created a community atmosphere within the Club's fanbase.
The Chookpen is great. It’s a whole community in itself. We congregate, we know each other, we sit and have a chat. Before and after the game you get to know everyone, and everyone looks out for each other. It’s a social event.Wayne Leong Sydney Roosters Chookpen Member
“It was about 1974 in Taree as a young kid playing footy at that stage. They were the team to follow and I’ve stuck with them ever since,” Wayne explained.
“I started off as just a supporter, watched them on television and maybe went to the odd game, but it was never consistent. But when Brad Fittler came over during the Super League split, that’s when I signed up.
“It just sort of happened. The fact I got to get to know a few more people and be part of that community, at that time of my life it became convenient to start going to all the home and away games. It was a natural progression of my support.
“The Chookpen is great. It’s a whole community in itself. We congregate, we know each other, we sit and have a chat. Before and after the game you get to know everyone, and everyone looks out for each other. It’s a social event.
“It’s more important than ever to become a Member. People are creatures of habit and it’s so easy to just sit at home and watch the game on tv, but to actually go out there and have people around you, it’s a different atmosphere. It’s just not the same from home.
“I’m super excited for the new stadium. I’m looking forward to getting close to the action and being virtually on top of it. The viewing will be amazing no matter where you are. The fact that it’s a purpose-built rectangular stadium for the Roosters, that is going to be awesome to call our home.
“Once you get into it, it becomes part of your schedule. You feel part of the environment, and part of the Club.”
Annie and Ken Potter – 51 Year Gold Members
Childhood sweethearts Annie and Ken Potter have donned the Red, White and Blue since their youth, with Ken’s family jumping on board soon after arriving from South Africa in the 1960s.
With his father working in Vaucluse as the family remained in Melbourne, and after mistaking the match for the match of the day at the SCG for rugby union, the love for the Tricolours quickly grew.
Within a week the Potters were signed up to Membership at the old League’s Club – and now a few decades on, multiple family members have represented the Club in the lower grades, with plenty now coaching, playing and managing in the local competitions - all of whom attend matches each and every week.
Once you’re in, you’re in. People don’t walk away, they’re Members for life. We’ve met some lovely people over the years and as our kids and grandkids have come along, it’s really become an Eastern Suburbs community.Annie Potter Sydney Roosters Gold Member
“When I was about fourteen I met Ken, so it pretty much bounced off from him. He loved them from the time he arrived in Australia,” Annie recalls.
“We’ve been Members from our late teens. We’re both grandparents now so at least 50-odd years ago!”
“One of the things I really enjoyed was that after the games the players and fans would go back to the Leagues Club and have a presentation, a chat and a bit of fun,” Ken reminisced.
“Once you become a Member, you become part of a big family. You’re there at the game, there’s plenty of excitement. The Club is amazing.
“We watched it religiously every weekend. It was a ritual. We loved it. Once it’s in your blood, it’s in your blood.”
Despite the challenges for Members attending games over the last couple of seasons, the Potters say their passion is burning brighter than ever, particularly with the brand-new Sydney Football Stadium set to be completed mid-season.
“The last two years have been pretty isolated, we haven’t been able to go to many of the games. We get what we can, whether we can go or if it’s on television,” Annie said.
“We’ve been to about a dozen games over the last two years, but we’re very much looking forward to the new stadium. We’re looking forward to getting into our seats on the 50-metre line. I’m sure it’s going to be like for like when our seats are presented for us. Having that priority for seating is great.
“We’re hoping we’ll be able to get to all the games and we march ahead and go to every game. We’ve retired now so from this year we’ll hopefully be flying to Melbourne, going to Canberra and drive up to Queensland and do the regional games as well.
“It’s a social thing. You can bring your friends along to the games. Once you’re in, you’re in. People don’t walk away, they’re Members for life.
"We’ve met some lovely people over the years and as our kids and grandkids have come along, it’s really become an Eastern Suburbs community.
“You feel proud to see the numbers growing."