As all good stories begin, Lindsay Gordon’s long and celebrated service to Warringah Rugby Club stems from one particular night spent in a Sydney pub back in the late 1980s.
Hailing from rugby league territory on the Gold Coast, Gordon moved south in 1987 to pursue work opportunities.
Knowing only a handful of people in Sydney, Gordon was invited out by his new colleagues for a drink, a night which would eventuate in the now Warringah volunteer meeting Rats Life Member, Phil Feltscheer.
“It’s amazing to think my involvement with Warringah basically stemmed from that evening,” Gordon said.
“I began talking to Phil about Sydney, my interests in rugby league and eventually the Rats.
“By the end of the conversation we had figured out that we were actually neighbours. We’ve been incredibly close friends ever since.”
Attending a handful of Manly Warringah Sea Eagles matches at Brookvale Oval, Gordon quickly realised the dangers of wearing a Queensland rugby league jersey within a vocal Sydney crowd.
Eventually, Lindsay saw the light and begun attending the occasional Rats home game when his work schedule allowed him.
A developing passion for rugby soon ensued, with Gordon taking up a coaching role with the Collaroy Cougars. Coincidently, one of Phil Feltscheer’s sons, Mitchell, was part of the junior rugby side.
Gordon’s continuing relationship with the Feltscheer’s saw him spend more and more time at Rat Park in the coming years, however it was an ANZAC Day celebration in 2005 which had Gordon hooked for good.
“That day is probably my fondest memory of all,” he said.
“It was a beautiful celebration. There were thousands of people at Rat Park and the NSW Premier was flown in on a helicopter. I spent the entire day cooking sausages but it didn’t matter, it was a beautiful occasion.”
Gordon has been a Warringah volunteer ever since, and it wasn’t long before he saw an opportunity to improve the running of match day operations.
“Warringah have always had a reasonable strength in volunteering to help with fringe work,” he said.
“However, at some stage I noticed that our volunteers were too disorganised. From there, I begun rostering all match day operations at Rat Park and joined the Board to help connect the volunteers to the committee.”
Gordon’s role has since developed into Director of Community Relations, ensuring Warringah’s older fans and members remain connected despite the seismic shift to the online world.
“It would be very easy for organisations to leave behind that older age bracket, the people who aren’t reliant on social media in their lives,” he said.
“As you age, you find you have a lot more time on your hands to dedicate to your passions.
“We want to make sure that those who want to support their passion in rugby can, no matter their age or technical proficiencies.
“I make sure Warringah communicate at the lowest level so that every person can be involved.”
For someone who had little idea or interest in rugby upon arriving in Sydney, Gordon will now be quick to admit that his involvement has formed into an obsession.
“It’s all my spare time from February until October. I live for it,” he admits.
“The Club is a family and those involved are dedicated to it.
“Everyone is an equal because we’re all rugby supporters. That’s what I love about it.”