As part of our 10th anniversary celebrations, we caught up with some of our Club's biggest fans!
Meet John Watts and Bruce Gilbert - two passionate Rebels' fans who've been at AAMI Park for almost every high and low over the last decade.
Tell us a bit about yourself.
John: I’m John Watts – I'm originally from Sydney but now a true Melburnian, living in Surrey Hills. I work in the free-to-air TV industry.
Bruce: I’m Bruce Gilbert, I currently live in Sydney and manage and own a financial planning practice.
What do the Rebels mean to you?
John: It means more than just having a team to come and support at games. It’s a family and that includes more than the team itself, it's all the other members and fans too.
Bruce: Community, passion, and what Melbourne footy really stands for.
Who do you come to games with?
John: My partner, Caroline, is my regular and constant companion to the games. We have made many friends over the years coming to AAMI Park. It’s always nice coming back each year and seeing familiar faces at the start of each season.
Bruce: I come to the games with a group of proud Rebels members - one of the best parts about the Weary Dunlop lounge is that everyone knows everyone.
What’s your favourite moment at AAMI Park over the years and why?
John: There have been so many moments over the years but I’ll go with the Melbourne Rebels' first match at AAMI Park in 2011. We lost 43 to nil to the Waratahs, but even so, it was exciting to have our own Super Rugby team in Melbourne, it was a huge crowd and it was the first time I had ever been to AAMI Park – there was so much to be excited about.
Bruce: I have a few - namely the moment that Stirling Mortlock intercepted, dummied and dived 22m to score and beat the Crusaders (replicating the intercept against the All Blacks in the 2003 Rugby World Cup) - but nothing’s sweeter than beating the Kiwis at home.
What makes AAMI Park stand out from other stadiums?
John: It is so well designed for Union, League and Soccer. No matter where you sit you get a good view and you feel so close to the action. The acoustics are brilliant too - always sounds full. It's my favourite stadium in Australia, possibly the world!
Bruce: AAMI Park is the ONLY footy stadium in Melbourne, all the rest are cricket grounds.
What’s one thing that you’d like to happen at AAMI Park over the next 10 years? I.e. sporting events, club milestones, concerts you’d like to see.
Bruce: Rebels winning Super Rugby at AAMI Park in the near future.
John: Undoubtedly, I want to see the Rebels play in a final at home, in front of their loyal members and fans.