Jamie Tattersall is a Gladstone legend.
Jamie Tattersall is a Gladstone legend. Matt Taylor GLA271217TATT

LISTEN: Jamie Tattersall's big heart doesn't hold him back

YOU can see Jamie Tattersall wearing his fluorescent vest at Marley Brown at rugby league and union matches during the winter months.

As a volunteer he calls each try, conversion and field goal through the loudspeaker and also ensures there is no raucous behaviour among the crowd.

At the Harbour City Swim Meet next month, Jamie will add another string to his bow when he calls the swimmers' names as they cross the finish line.
 

EVER THE CONTRIBUTOR: Jamie Tattersall interviews Glenn Butcher at the Pink Stump match in Calliope last year.
EVER THE CONTRIBUTOR: Jamie Tattersall interviews Glenn Butcher at the Pink Stump match in Calliope last year. Mike Richards GLA130316PINK

For years he has been volunteering and doing what he loves, despite a heart condition that refuses to keep him down.

It started one morning, almost 11 years ago, when he woke up feeling unwell.

The diagnosis was acute dilated cardiomyopathy, or an enlarged heart.

"For the layman's terms, I'm suffering heart failure and I have an enlarged heart," he said.

"A normal heart would pump at least 70 or 80 per cent of the blood outside in one pump and mine does around 25 per cent."

Jamie has a defibrillator and a pacemaker implanted in his chest but regular check-ups and a healthy lifestyle, which include frequent rounds of golf, keep him in good shape.

"I've always had a bit of volunteering in me I think," he said.

"Even when I was a kid at 14, I walked to Rocky, a three day walk there, just to raise money for the army cadet unit at high school."

LISTEN | Our full interview with Jamie Tattersall

Jamie took on the president role of the Yaralla Cricket Club 15 years ago and his love for sport was strong when he umpired cricket matches as a teenager.

That passion also showed at a junior league game a few years ago.

"I was watching from the sidelines at a junior game on a Friday night in the under-15 age group and popped up a conversation with one of the dads there," he said.

The father told Jamie that it was his son's first game and he suffered from anxiety and depression.

"He found it very difficult to make friends and to really get out there," Tattersall said.

"The kid scored a try in that game right in front of his dad and the joy in that kid's face, all his team-mates hugging him and the mateship he was getting like that...he (the dad) saw a completely different son than what he was seeing.

"He had a tear in his eye and I had a tear in my eye.

"I'm just very passionate about Gladstone, being born and bred here, and all of my family is from here."

In fact, he and his mother were both delivered by the same doctor, Dr John McGree.

"Funnily enough his grandson is our doctor now...we've been through three generations of Dr McGrees, there was John, Maurice and now Colan," he said.

A young Jamie Tattersall followed in his father's footsteps and joined the army reserves at 17, but there were no favours.

"He always said that he was going to be tougher on me than anyone else and he was," he said with a laugh.

"The one time I did leave Gladstone, I actually went into the Australian Defence Force Academy and left Gladstone the day before I turned 18. ," he said.

"As what happens with most Gladstonites, we always get sucked back in...the black hole of Gladstone we call it."

After a four-year stint with the armed services, he continued his involvement as a player or official in touch football, cricket and even the indoor version.

He came across some famous sports people such as Andrew Symonds who played at the Industries Cricket Bulls Masters Challenge and the event's star attractions, Trevor Gillmeister and Billy J Smith of It's a Knockout  fame.

"It was a bit of a buzz because I did a bit of microphone stuff myself and I've got to say that even after a few drinks, you put a microphone in front of Billy J Smith, it's just the Billy J Smith show," he recalled.

As for the state of sport in Gladstone?

He says it's just part of the culture.



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