Warriors Fandom: Mystery Tattoos and Unwavering Allegiance


In a bold display of unwavering loyalty, Warriors superfan Karl Tily and several other devoted supporters embraced the unknown as they queued to receive mystery club-themed tattoos at Auckland’s Sylvia Park. The unique venture, orchestrated by tattooist Leroy Roberts, not only put the faith of these adventurous fans to the test but also added an extra layer of anticipation to the Warriors’ return to the NRL playoffs.

As heightened fanfare reverberated nationwide in anticipation of the Auckland-based club’s playoff journey, Karl Tily saw this as an opportunity to showcase his faith distinctively. The catch? While fans had the liberty to choose the location of their Warriors-themed tattoo, the design remained a mystery until completion.

Tily, hailing from Wellington, expressed his confidence in tattooist Leroy Roberts, stating, “We knew it was Warriors related, and I knew the tiki would be involved.” The decision to leave the specifics to Leroy seemed inconsequential to Tily, given his trust in the tattoo artist’s skill and creativity.

Eight fans, including Tily, plunged into this unique experience, allowing Leroy to etch permanent symbols of their allegiance to the Warriors. Tily’s mystery design on his inner bicep portrayed a tiki-headed league player scoring a try—a visual testament to his faith and support for the team.

Warriors fan Karl Tily received a mystery Warriors-related tattoo ahead of the team playing in the NRL.

Karl Tily gets his mystery tattoo.
Photo: Supplied

The process took approximately 40 minutes, providing fans with a tangible mark of their dedication and a shared experience that bonded them as Warriors enthusiasts. Tily described the endeavour as “one way I could show some faith and hopefully give the boys a bit of a gee-up ahead of the weekend.”

The phrase “Up the Wahs” has become a rallying cry in New Zealand’s sporting and cultural landscape in recent weeks, symbolizing the collective spirit and enthusiasm surrounding the Warriors’ playoff journey. Even the club’s long-time sponsor, One New Zealand (formerly Vodafone), has incorporated this catchphrase on its cellular devices, further amplifying the unity among fans.

As the Warriors gear up to face the Penrith Panthers in the qualifying final at Penrith’s BlueBet Stadium, the absence of star halfback Shaun Johnson due to a calf injury adds an element of concern. However, Tily remains optimistic, noting there is “enough flair on attack to give things a good shake-up.”

The outcome of Saturday night’s clash will determine whether the Warriors secure a spot in the preliminary final or face a knockout semi-final in Auckland next weekend. The Ivan Cleary-coached Panthers, vying for a historic three-peat, pose a formidable challenge.

In conclusion, this venture into the realm of mystery tattoos not only underscores the profound connection between Warriors fans and their team but also adds a unique chapter to the narrative of fandom—a tale of faith, shared experiences, and the indelible marks of unwavering support.

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