Number One Fan


Number One Fan

Director: Jolyon Hoff
13 mins 2007 Rated G


For three decades until his death in 2000 Laurie Nichols could be seen prowling the sidelines at Tigers games and punching  the air in support of the team. In his signature singlet, he became a much-loved part of the team and the atmosphere of game day.

“You wouldn’t get a person more committed, not even in marriage. This bloke was dead-set ALL Balmain”’ Benny Elias

Number One Fan follows Laurie’s journey from the time he was proclaimed as Balmain’s number one fan following the 1969 grand final, through his still-singleted jaunts to England with the Australian team and into the mountains to his hometown of Springwood.

he was a renowned mischief maker and larrikin, and his famous friends collectively recount one of rugby league’s funniest stories involving Laurie, a train seat and a cat in a basket. Finally the film ends with Laurie’s great fight to save the Balmain Tigers during the Super League war.

“The thing that kept Laurie going, his reason for living, was the ‘Tiges’, but there were a lot of Laurie Nichols. A lot of people who felt that way, and still do”
Alan Jones

Laurie died three days before the first game Balmain played as the Wests Tigers. Was it all too much for the one-eyed tiger?  Did he die from a broken heart? And what happened to the cat?

“It was terrific. Great memories. Made me cry.”
– Arthur Beetson