A CHUBBY clubber has become a Facebook sensation after nightclub bosses tried to ban him from podium dancing.
Gary Henderson was thrown out by bouncers after showing off his moves on the raised platform normally reserved for eye-catching, scantily-clad female dancers.
But after the 23-year went on Facebook to complain about his treatment by the East Kilbride club, he received an astonishing 9000 “likes” in one night.
And that forced Downtown to back down – inviting Gary to return for a 30-minute performance in front of almost 1000 baying, paying fans.
Gary, who holds down a sensible day job as a tax worker with Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, strutted, pointed and gyrated before stripping to the waist.
Gary said: “Last week I was chucked off the podium in Downtown because men aren’t allowed on it.
“I wrote a good-natured complaint on the night club’s Facebook page the following morning – by Sunday night it had thousands of likes and was attracting a fair bit of attention in East Kilbride.
“They offered me the chance to go back and have half an hour myself on the podium as well as VIP treatment.
“I danced on the podium for ten minutes alone, backed up by the ‘The Podium Megamix’, several costume changes and an insane crowd.”
Gary agreed with bosses that some of the money made on the night should go to charity.
A close friend, Darren Joliny, 21, died while playing football in January this year and Gary wanted to make a donation to Cardiac Risk in the Young in his memory.
He said: “Overall we raised £1,500 – an incredible amount considering just six days before I was all but barred from the place.
“Darren is never far from my mind – it was just pure coincidence it was something he’d absolutely have loved to be a part of.
“Any money was a bonus, and I was completely humbled and blown away by everyone’s generosity.”
The club’s initial attempt to ban Gary angered many customers.
Just after Gary’s original complaint, Kari Anne Fraser posted on the club’s Facebook site: “Men should be allowed on the podium full stop.
“I was beyond disgusted at the fact that you feel it’s OK for women to flaunt themselves yet men are not allowed.
“I tried to get an explanation from the manager however I was basically ignored!
“It shouldn’t be a case of what sex you are it should be whether you are being appropriate i.e not causing any trouble.
Liam McHugh posted: “Should be boycotted – close them down.”
But Joe Keenan, Downtown proprietor, said the South Lanarkshire town had swung behind them after Gary’s high-profile return.
He said: “It was a pleasure to be involved in such a good event.
“Gary’s post on Facebook attracted almost 9000 likes and it was written with such good humour. We loved his post so much we replied promptly in the same style.
“We put out the challenge and he duly accepted. Saturday night was one of, if not the best, party atmospheres we have experienced.
“East Kilbride got behind the event and supported the cause raising some much need funds for charity.
“The post is now being followed by over 11,000 people and with the inclusion of 200 photos and a video of Gary’s podium dance I am sure there’s more to come.”
The only sceptical note came from Gary’s dad, Jim. He posted on the club’s website: “Now that Gary has completed the Podium challenge can you tell me when his sponsored Room Clean will commence? I suggest £100 for each pizza or kebab found under his bed haha.”