‘It was worth it’: Grand Final streaker breaks his silence
When the photo of the Palm Beach Currumbin streaker from the 2014 Grand Final was crowned the Coast's rugby photo of the decade earlier this year, The Bulletin set about tracking down the man behind the mask.
This week, the infamous streaker breaks his silence for the first time, five years on from the legendary nudie run.
Former Alleygators captain Ross Colvin reveals the incredible lengths opposition supporters went to hide him from security, how he was was eventually caught, the serious consequences he faced and why that decision to jog around the field dressed in only his club mascot's mask was the beginning of the rest of his life.
GCB: Can you run me through your background?
RC: I was an Alleygators junior and went on to play first grade at the club from 2010 to 2014. We won the premiership in 2011 and 2012.
How did your season end up in the year of the streak?
We got knocked out the week before in the 3rd vs 4th playoff vs Surfers Paradise, where they kicked a field goal to knock us out. It wasn't that frustrating because we were just lucky to be there. We had turned over a lot of players and there had been a change of coaches. That was the end of the 'Gators dynasty, really.
What inspired you to get your kit off and go for a jog on Grand Final day?
We were there watching our second grade side in the grand final which they lost to Helensvale. We were having a few too many beers on the away sideline. We had our mascot, Cam, who always wore the 'Gator suit and cheered on the club. That was floating around because he went home after the game. Benny Marshall and I were having a few beers and running around in the suit as the Eagles and Hogs were playing in the first grade final.
How did the crowd react when you got on the field?
It was good. There was tons of atmosphere. Everyone was going crazy, blowing horns like airhorns, cheering, laughing. There were complaints from parents of juniors later.
What happened during the streak?
I ran out there as Hayden McCaa (Helensvale fullback) was kicking a penalty goal and I ran out and streaked. I did a full lap but on the way back some random from the sideline, an overenthusiastic Helensvale supporter, shot out and blindsided me. Knocked me out. I was concussed from the hit.
From that, the Gold Coast Rugby president at the time picked me up and dragged me off when I was still unconscious. All the Alleygators supporters jumped over the fence and nearly started a fight to stop him.
I got off the field and some of the Helensvale boys gave me a Helensvale jersey and a bucket with eye-holes cut out - Ned Kelly style - and they hid me in their crowd to stop security and Gold Coast rugby from finding me.
How did you get caught?
The Police only found me when people started tagging me on Facebook in articles about the streak.
They found me two or three days later. I was on Mad Monday and missed all these calls then the police rang me on Wednesday to say there were at my house in Miami and they'd had a complaint about my streak from Gold Coast Rugby.
I went into the station with my old man and the police showed me a photo someone had taken of me lying on the ground, knocked out, and my face had the green paint.
What was the official punishment?
The Police were so fine about it, they were all laughing. I was only 25 or 26 at the time. They gave me a $350 fine for public nuisance and drunk and disorderly with no court appearance.
But because it was all over the paper the 'Gators gave me a six month suspension. Gold Coast Rugby wanted to give me more but Palmy really helped me out.
They had to do something because Gold Coast Rugby were talking about suspending me for a couple of years. The Gators gave me a six month suspension and I probably didn't take it the right way so I went to Bond Pirates for a year. We ended up making the grand final there.
I went back to Palmy a year later when Ryan Roberts went to coach and then I captained the team. The Gators were really good about it.
Was it all worth it?
I've had a lot of trouble with concussions since then so I've retired from playing with some serious injuries. Now I'm coaching at Casuarina Beach.
I still think it was worth it. I moved on to Bond Pirates as a former one-club person. From there I got my air conditioning and refrigeration apprenticeship and now I'm a director of my own company, Life Electrical and Air Conditioning. I was devastated about leaving Palmy but I went back and everything worked out fine. I captained Gators for a year and moved to Casuarina Beach.
Are you streaking days behind you?
I've turned 30 so my streaking days are over now. I apologised to Cam and bought the Gators a new mascot suit and head because Helensvale ran around the field with the bottom half of the suit on fire on their Silly Sunday.
I kept the head for myself. I've still got it laying around at home.