Johnathon Thurston bringing show to Gladstone
PROMOTER Adam Wilcox says former rugby league footballer Johnathon Thurston has a long career of him, as a public speaker.
"I've had the pleasure of dealing with a lot of other sports celebrities like Mick Fanning, Sir Viv Richards and Brian Lara," he said.
"But I've never seen anything like Johnathon Thurston, he's amazing.
"And seeing him operate in the quiet times, his work ethic is second to none."
Mr Thurston has been taking his show 'An Evening With Johnathan Thurston' around Australia.
"We organised for him to do a show this time last year at the Star Casino on the Gold Coast," Mr Wilcox said.
"It went so well I said to him, 'Let's do a run of these when you retire' and he agreed, even though he'd never done anything like this before.
"He was very nervous, especially before the Townsville show, playing to his home town.
"But he's a professional sportsman and he learned how to turn nerves into positive energy."
Talking about his childhood, culture, career and life on and off the field, Mr Thurston's live stage show runs for 100 minutes, with meet and greets after the show.
"We've done 12 shows and John has been absolutely on fire," Mr Wilcox said.
"His timing's been brilliant, he knows the stories that get a laugh.
"It's really surprised people."
One of the tales Mr Thurston recounts is how close he came to missing out on playing rugby league professionally.
"The Roosters had signed him at 18 years of age, but Artie Beetson overruled it," Mr Wilcox said.
"Artie was the recruitment manager and he said, 'I've had a look at him he's too small, he won't make it.'
"The chair of the Roosters Nick Politis ribbed Artie about that for years."
Mr Wilcox said Johnathon Thurston was obviously going to be popular in Queensland, but it surprised him how well liked he was around the country.
"He's loved everywhere he goes," he said.
"450 people turned up to see him in Perth, and there was over 1000 in Sydney.
"He's signing prosthetic limbs and had a 90-year-old woman grab his backside.
"As much as you might not want to, you can't help but like him."
Mr Wilcox said the tour ends in Gympie next week.
"But he's so good we're already planning a Johnny Farnham style encore tour," he said.
"We'll be wheeling him out on a zimmer frame in 2038."
Johnathon Thurston will be appearing at the Gladstone Entertainment and Convention Centre on December 6.
An Evening With Johnathon Thurston When: December 6 Time: 7pm Where: GECC Tickets: Diamond (Meet and Greet) $199 (only 200 tickets available) Platinum $99 Youth (4-16 years) $79 Contact: 4972 2822