Geelong’s most recognisable supporter has known as time on his Catman persona, saying he wanted to deliver an finish to a “hellish time” that has made him right into a “bitter raging bull”.
Troy West, son of Cats premiership participant Roy, introduced the top of his 16-year run in a prolonged and emotional assertion on Fb.
He stated he’s “severing all ties” with the Geelong cheer squad, criticising how his experiences had been dealt with and pointing to “a choose few” who he claimed had been “threatened” by his “progressive imaginative and prescient”.
However West stated he’ll proceed to attend video games as a member with out his costume.
West defined that he had grow to be uninterested in being focused by followers and the ensuing damaging affect on his psychological and bodily well being.
“I wish to reside a life the place I’m surrounded by those who love me,” West wrote.
“I don’t wish to be round damaging influences and I really feel I have to take management of the Catman persona that I’ve labored arduous to create.
Geelong supporter Troy ‘Catman’ West on the MCG earlier than a 2016 finals sport. Credit score: Getty
“I’m an overtly homosexual, assured, loud, abrasive, energetic, inventive, vibrant and fashionable individual and that typically isn’t what some sections of the neighborhood like.
“I have to be round those who love me for who and what I’m. Individuals who get my humour and other people I like again equally.
“I’ve been by a hellish time and I really feel that it’s time that I have to take steps to take care of my psychological well being as I’ve been at breaking level.
“I’ve grown up surrounded by homophobia, prejudice and being focused. I’m at a stage in my life the place I don’t assume I needs to be round components of that nature. In ANY space of my life.
“I wish to take management of my freedom. Free to do and say what I would like with out retribution.”
Trials and tribulations
The publish drew lots of of feedback in assist of West, who provided his assist to the cheer squad in addition to the staff.
“I’d like to see youthful (or any age), vibrant and energetic individuals who can be a part of up and alter the tradition and demographic so we are able to see them look improbable and be a tremendous optimistic surroundings,” he wrote.
“Additionally, I like the membership greater than something on this world. I hope extra individuals enroll and extra individuals be a part of the cheer squad and we grow to be the most effective membership within the land. Go Cats.”
West stated the darkish facet of the soccer neighborhood had robbed him of his ardour for the sport and his persona.
“Changing into very well-known and a high-profile fan has introduced me many rewards and unbelievable experiences with followers and the enjoyable within the media,” he stated.
Catman went all out, working the persona for 16 years. Credit score: AAP
“However with fame throughout the AFL neighborhood, there are drawbacks. There’s one other facet of life. There’s the fixed on-line hate on footy boards.
“It’s not enjoyable when a video of me goes viral and I learn by 20,000 feedback of absolute hate, abuse, homophobia, discrimination and the worst issues possible you’ll be able to say to individuals.
“I do reply with aggression and say some issues in response as I battle to disregard issues. I simply don’t get why individuals can hate me a lot once they don’t know me.
“There simply isn’t room nowadays for an outrageous vibrant homosexual man with a giant witty mouth.
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‘I have to be round those who love me for who and what I’m’
“I’m old style. I’m not politically appropriate. I wasn’t introduced up that approach. I battle to adapt to the brand new cancel tradition that’s insidiously infiltrated society. There are simply too many individuals out to get me. I not want to be beneath such scrutiny.”
West signed off with a message to his supporters, urging them to present him a couple of weeks to maneuver on earlier than checking in.
“I’m high quality. I’m sturdy and resilient. I’m Catman, hear me roar,” he wrote.
Catman’s retirement follows Collingwood fan Joffa Corfe packing up his well-known gold jacket and leaving his publish within the Pies’ cheer squad lately.
The membership not too long ago condemned Corfe after he posted a racist tweet about Indian staff in aged care.