Page last updated at 14:05 GMT, Thursday, 7 August 2008 15:05 UK

Tattooed clubber is 'turned away'

Jon Andrew
Jon Andrew said he had had support on his Facebook site

A man who claims he was barred from a nightclub because of his tattoos has joined forces with other club-goers.

Jon Andrew, 31, from Swansea, is unhappy after he was refused entry to the city's Oceana club.

Mr Andrew, who has set up a Facebook group which has more than 2,000 members, has complained to the club but managers deny they discriminate.

Oceana said there was not a "rigid policy" on tattoos and entry was based on age, sobriety and appearance.

Mr Andrew, a businessman, said he was refused entry when he tried to go to the club in Swansea with his staff.

"I was taking the staff out for a treat - there were seven of us - we went for a meal and couple of drinks," he said.

"We went to Oceana and I have worked there myself six years ago as a doorman when it was Ritzy.

"They just said we were not allowed in with visible tattoos. We just went somewhere else. I know not to kick up a fuss.

"There were ladies with us as well, we didn't look like troublemakers.

We spoke to people in Cardiff about their views on tattoos

"I kind of felt degraded - I had my Armani suit on and it was a hot night so I took my jacket off and a short-sleeve shirt."

Mr Andrew, who runs a tanning salon, has his right arm covered in tattoos.

"I have got a 'full sleeve' and there is nothing offensive on it - it's tasteful."

Mr Andrew has had tattoos for 12 years and said he would continue having them.

"For someone to turn around and say I'm not good enough, it's discriminatory - are they going to turn someone away for being fat or having religious clothing?

"It's unbelievable - I have been in many times and my tattoos have been visible. I have eaten there in the day; it's just not consistent."

David Beckham and Angelina Jolie
David Beckham and Angelina Jolie - among celebrities with tattoos

He has contacted the manager via e-mail and said he was told it was company policy.

"I think about 60% of the Premier League players have half or full sleeves [tattoos]: would they turn away David Beckham or Angelina Jolie?"

He said he started a Facebook page because he began talking to people who claimed to have known someone who turned away, or sympathised with him.

"Within seven days the Facebook page had got 2,500 members.

"It's like biting the hand that feeds them," he added.

Steve Saunders, general manager of Oceana said: "We do not operate a specific rigid policy concerning customers with tattoos or any form of body art.

"Any decision to refuse entry to a customer is reached on an individual basis and considers a variety of factors such as age, sobriety and appearance.

"These entry requirements ensure Oceana maintains a friendly, relaxed and safe environment for all of its customers."

Celebrities leading tattoo demand
02 Aug 08 |  North West Wales
Man gets breakfast tattoo on head
09 Feb 07 |  North West Wales

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