Urban Legends: Flynny’s out!

 by Chris Riordan

High-profile Almanacker, Peter Flynn, was humbled by “security” last Thursday night in Warrnambool and refused entry to fabled “Whalers” bar and nightspot. Under intense questioning, the uniformed bear (No.15) defied Peter’s logic with “I’ve already made my decision!” and made it clear that no further correspondence would be considered.

It seems that Peter was in good company.

Last Friday’s Sport-Confidential in the little paper ran the following piece…

‘TVN’s Shane Templeton was named the ambassador of the Warrnambool carnival – but it didn’t mean a thing when he tried to jump the long queue at the popular Whalers Hotel on Wednesday night.

Templeton used the old “Don’t you know who I am?” approach when he went to the front of the line, but a security staffer pointed to the end of the queue and told Templeton to walk as he talked.”

My favourite tale of this genre surrounds the great Seb Coe and a gatekeeper, though the origins of the story seem lost and the venue appears to vary between Stamford Bridge, Oxford United or even, in Peter Fitzsimmons’ hijacking, Sydney’s Olympic Stadium.

The theme for each version is the same. Here’s the Lord’s one, courtesy of Tusker’s blog’s blog…

Sebastian Coe had just won a Gold medal at the the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.  He was invited by the committee of the MCC to come and watch England play cricket in an Ashes test, and then to deliver a motivational speech to the England team over lunch in the pavilion.

A ticket was enclosed with the invitation so that he could get into the ground, but it was explained that he should then go directly to the private enclosure, where he would be expected.

Sebastian Coe had never been to Lords’ before.  On arriving at the ground he met the gatekeeper, who,rumour has it, was a Lancastrian.

Sebastian Coe:  I wonder if you could tell me how to get to the pavilion?  I’m supposed to go up there.

Gatekeeper: People with those tickets are seated in the blue section at the other end of the ground.

Sebastian Coe: Yes, thanks for that, but, umm, what’s the best way to get to the pavilion from here?

Gatekeeper: The blue section is at the other end of the ground.

Sebastian Coe: Look, I apologise, you probably didn’t recognise me, I’m Sebastian Coe, I’ve just won a gold medal for the 1500m at Los Angeles, and I’m giving a talk to the team over lunch.

Gatekeeper: Well in that case, it won’t take you very long to get to the BLUE SECTION AT THE OTHER END OF THE GROUND!


  1. Peter Flynn says

    I didn’t take this poor decision lying down.

    Upon reflection, I nearly did take this poor decision lying down.

  2. Flynny – suppose they thought you were under 18.

  3. Andrew Fithall says


    Funny things happen in Warrnambool. If the above link works, you will see a picture of the person who, as at Round 6, was coming second in the Gigs administered Ladder Ladder competition. Played a “few” games with the Dogs. The photo is from day one at the ‘Bool and appeared in the local paper.

  4. Peter Flynn says

    I was under 18 beers (just).

    AF, the headline had to be Gimme Shelter. I’m listening to a Stones doco on BBC6 at the moment.

  5. Crio – Seb Coe’s best distance was probably 1500m though he did run a mighty 800m as well. The short dash to the other end of the ground (maybe 200-300m ?) would not have brought out his best.

    Comedian Peter Cooke had a great joke about “famous” people using the “do you know who I am?” line to jump a queue. If he heard anyone say that he would stand up and broadcast very loudly:

    “Excuse me ladies and gentlemen but there’s a chap here who doesn’t seem to know who he is.”

  6. A bit of folklore from the NW of Tasmania is that a certain ex NSW and Australian bowler who made three test centuries and now wears a door mat on his head tried to get into a disco in Devonport after a shield game some time ago.

    He was told that it was full and there would be no more people admitted to which he replied “I’m xxxxxx the cricketer”

    The reply was swift. Pleased to meet you “I’m xxxxxx the bouncer. Now be a good boy and piss off”

  7. Andrew Starkie says

    Flynny, you must have been bloody drunk to be knocked back from the Whale. They used to bus the drunks in. Either that or the standards have improved. It’s been a while since I used to frequent that dodgy joint. Back in the early ’90s, you could set your watch to the donnybrooks that would regularly break out there. Some of the punch-ups are stuff of legends. She’s the wild west down there.

  8. Andrew Starkie says

    Who was the jockey refused entry to a night club when our celebrating his Melbourne Cup victory from earlier that day because he didn’t have I.D? Or is that urban myth?

  9. Andrew,
    I’ve heard a lot about the legendary barneys down there but, with this year my only experience, it just wasn’t an issue. With the exception of the last hour (10 races and public holiday) on Thursday, the race crowd was delightful…mostly blokes in Mecca…and there was none of the drunken stupidity you’d find at Flemington (or England’s jumps equivalent, Cheltenham).
    Seriously, I’d better clarify that Flynny was fine. I would never have posted this piece if he was being stupid. It was a really stubborn bouncer and the incredulity in Peter’s eyes that amused me.
    The Whalers is overpriced but open late and, on the Thursday, threatens to nightclub with a sprinkling of girls and a band. Punters were cashed up this year and the vibe great. There is another joint down the road which then kicks on towards dawn.

  10. Wasn’t Paddy Payne given a colouring in book by a hostie on the plane coming back from winning the Adelaide Cup (when he was a jockey)?
    That would be justification for pulling out the “don’t you know who I am” line.

  11. Peter Flynn says

    I like Daff’s line:

    I was harpooned at the Whalers.

  12. There’s a Marc Murphy story that did the rounds a couple of years ago regarding cricket and “Don’t you know…?” Anyone recall the substance?

  13. Dave Nadel says

    Re Andrew Starkie (Post 7) Not sure about the Whalers in the nineties but it became the Whalers in about 1988 as part of a move up market. Before that it had been The Commercial and probably the worst pub in Warrnambool. I used to buy bottles from their bottle shop to drink with my meal at Bojangles next door, but nothing that I heard or saw from the adjacent bar ever tempted me to drink at the “comical”.

  14. Ian Syson says

    Neville Bonner was famously refused service in a Mount Isa pub because he was black. When the shit hit the fan the barmaid who refused him was sacked by the publican who claimed that the pub had no such policy — which of course it did.

  15. Toffs there in Isa!

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