Neil McLucas to join Sportsman Hotel’s Drag Hall of Fame


Sportsman Hotel owner Neil McLucas and team
Neil McLucas (front) celebrates Sportsman Hotel's 30th. Image: Jordan Hirst

The Sportsman Hotel team will host a special ceremony honouring the Brisbane gay bar’s “irreplaceable” owner Neil McLucas as Sporties adds him to the Drag Hall of Fame next month.

Each year, Sporties honours local personalities for their lifetime contributions to Queensland’s drag scene and LGBTQIA+ community. Each Drag Hall of Famer is up on the wall of the Lounge Bar of the Sportsman Hotel, which is Brisbane’s home of drag.

On February 10, the team will induct two more living legends into the Hall of Fame – Neil McLucas (above, front) and legendary showgirl Kelly Roberts.

Neil, 89, is a Brisbane icon and the proud owner and manager of some of the city’s earliest gay bars, hosting decades of drag queens.

In 2019, he celebrated the Sportsman’s 30th birthday. He recalled the pub’s early days and described Sporties’ as “a special place we could go to and say that we’re home.”

“We were beaten into the ground by Premier Joh Bjelke-Petersen and the attitudes of the time,” Neil said.

“We couldn’t do a lot of things. I wanted to make certain we had a place we could go. Any day and night of the week, we could feel at home.

“People ostracised from birth families could find their own family at Sporties and know they were safe and valued inside our walls.”

Drag Hall of Fame ceremony on February 10

Drag Hall of Famer Miss Synthetique will host the 2024 induction ceremony at the Sportsman Hotel on February 10 from 10pm. Miss Sporties 2023 Maxi-Bon will also perform.

Previous inductees into the Sportsman Hotel’s Drag Hall of Fame include Dame Sybil Von Thorndyke, Dame Liz Taylor, Miss Synthetique, Wanda D’Parke, Betty Nature, Trixie Onassis, Yana Michelle, producer Gavin Anthony, Candy Surprise, Malika, Ella Va’lay, Tara Ra Boom Deay, Sue Wridge, Hazel La Belle, Iona Toyboy, Sasha Trajik-Mole, Toye de Wilde, Lucy Lockjaw and Tamara Tonite.

Read also:

Neil McLucas: the icon behind early Brisbane gay bars

The long history of Brisbane’s Sportsman Hotel

Neil McLucas celebrates 30th birthday of Sporties

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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