SATURDAY’s St Fat’s Day celebrations at Mitchelton have received a boost, with the patron saint himself – Queensland rugby league legend Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin – confirming his attendance.
A former junior rugby league player for the Wests Mitchelton Panthers, Vautin and co-host Erin Molan announced on this week’s Footy Show they will fly to Brisbane to join the festivities that will take place tomorrow (March 15).
In a departure from the emerald-tinged festivities of St Patrick's Day two days later, St Fat’s Day will be awash with ginger as the club looks to create a world record for the most 'Fattys' assembled at one time.
Competitions will be staged on the day for the ‘Best Natural Fat’ lookalike, as well as a ‘Best Assisted Fat’ category where all-comers can don a red wig, draw on freckles and supplement their girth with padding.
For those otherwise inclined, there will also be best lookalike prizes for Fatty's Footy Show comrades Peter 'Snorky' Sterling, Daryl 'Big Marn' Brohman and female panellist Erin Molan.
The Queensland Rugby League, Brisbane Broncos and Rugby League Week have supplied prizes including a State of Origin history book signed by Gorden Tallis, various Maroons and Broncos merchandise, season passes to the Intrust Super Cup and a year’s subscription to Rugby League Week.
Channel Nine's cameras will be there to capture all the action.
More than merely drawing together those of flame-coloured follicles, a fiery disposition and an aversion to sunlight, the day’s frivolities will be for a cause true to many rugby league fans' hearts.
Throughout the afternoon there will be fund-raising efforts to buy a new Panther suit for Wests Mitchelton mascot Geoffrey Wright, arguably the most famous supporter in Brisbane rugby league for the past 50 years.
The disability pensioner and charity worker from Alderley is renowned for travelling as far as Papua New Guinea to cheer on rugby league teams of all ages from Brisbane's western suburbs.
Unfortunately his last panther outfit was stolen.
Saturday's event at Prospect St, Mitchelton commences with the club's second-grade team playing Pine Rivers Bears at 1.30pm. Registration in the various lookalike categories begins at 1pm.
Fatty will then appear in centre field at 3pm with the best handpicked lookalikes, prior to kick-off in the main game between Mitchelton and Brisbane Natives.
A brief window will exist for fans to have their photo taken with Fatty and collect Footy Show giveaways.
To make sure the sun doesn't play havoc with fair-skinned fanatics, an undercover canteen and bar will be on hand.