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Peter Helliar as Bryan Strauchan in 2008
|Full name||Bryan Keith Strauchan|
|Date of birth||1984 (age 32–33)|
|Place of birth||Horsham, Victoria|
|Original team(s)||Horsham Reserves|
|Draft||Final pick, 2004 National Draft|
|Representative team honours|
|2007–||Victoria (Legends Game)||4 (8)|
1 Playing statistics correct to the end of 2009.
2 State and international statistics correct as of 2008.
Bryan Keith Strauchan (pronounced: "Strawn"), better known as "Strauchanie", is a fictional Australian rules football player, portrayed by Peter Helliar, who first appeared during short sketches on Before the Game.
Strauchanie is represented as a talentless, overweight bogan, oblivious to his own lack of ability, who fictionally occupied a position on the Collingwood Football Club's playing list, until he announced his retirement in early April 2009 on Triple M, where Helliar works. Helliar wears a recognisable blond mullet wig in his portrayal of Strauchan.
Through his regular segment on Before the Game, Strauchanie became a popular character for his combination of country football stereotypes and jokes about contemporary issues in the AFL. Helliar has since made celebrity appearances in character as Strauchan, often performing in charity sports events.
Bryan Strauchan was born in 1984 to Roy and Soy Bean Strauchan in the country town of Horsham, Victoria. He is of Asian descent through his maternal parentage, although his appearance shows no physical Asian traits.
He played his formative years of football in Horsham, reaching no higher than the reserves; nevertheless, he was selected by the Collingwood Football Club with the last pick in the 2004 National Draft. Strauchan's progress was hampered by weight issues, lack of speed and skills that require considerable work. He wears guernsey number 59, indicative of his mediocrity (AFL players seldom retain numbers higher than 40 longer than their junior years and almost never wear numbers higher than 50). He never made his Australian Football League (AFL) debut, however former Collingwood coach Mick Malthouse had hinted that promotion may have be around the corner. Strauchan was purportedly named in the senior team for Collingwood's match against Sydney in 2005, but accidentally locked himself in a stairwell, which caused him to miss the game. He also has his own AFL footy card that describes all of his mediocre abilities.
Strauchan has been involved in a fictional relationship with real-life boundary rider Christi Malthouse, although incidences of infidelity are frequent. He suffers from a severe peanut allergy. He has claimed that the reason he was not selected for play is that selectors are biased against Asians, but he was selected as captain in the fictional Asian Team of the Century.
He was man of the match in the 2009 EJ Whitten Legend's Game after kicking three goals. Although late in the match Strauchan injured his ankle after a tackle (although it appeared to be a joke at first, Helliar did actually injure his ankle severely), putting the rest of his career in doubt.
Bryan Strauchan suffered a shocking lower-leg injury during the 2012 EJ whittens legends game which may end his career for good
In 2012, in a move by the fans, Strauchanie was voted President of the Melbourne Renegades
Media and celebrity appearances
Strauchan was a recurring character on the show Before the Game, which features regular 2–5 minute segments about the goings-on in Strauchan's life. Collingwood Football Club personalities, including coach Mick Malthouse, president Eddie McGuire and various senior players, have appeared and co-operated with sketches which pretend to place Strauchan inside the real-life workings of the club.
Additionally, Peter Hellier has made celebrity appearances as Bryan Strauchan on several occasions in both the media and in sports. These include:
- Hosting a comedy segment at the 2006 Brownlow Medal count.
- Appearing in the Australian Football League's membership advertisements.
- Participating in the 2007 through 2011 EJ Whitten Legends Games for Victoria, as co-captain in 2008 (wearing his number 59 guernsey).
- Participating in the Twenty20 Celebrity Challenge, a charity cricket match played for the Shane Warne Foundation.
- Participating in the 2008 Australian Grand Prix celebrity race.
- Appearing at Parade College for a fundraiser on 5 November 2009.
- Final pick, 2004 National Draft
- Captain of All-Asian Team of the Century
- E. J. Whitten Legends Game 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012
- Co-captain of Victoria (EJ Whitten Legends Game) (2008)
- Man of the Match (EJ Whitten Legends Game) (2009)
Helliar wrote a Strauchan autobiography Bryan Strauchan – my story: the rise and rise of a genuine superstar of Australian sport. In it, Strauchan talks about his Horsham days, playing for Collingwood, and being Chinese. Helliar, as Strauchan, released the autobiography in front of a packed media conference at Collingwood's headquarters, the Lexus Centre, with Nathan Buckley helping promote it.
A DVD featuring all of Strauchan's clips was released in 2006. The DVD is titled as "Strauchanie – Pure B.S.", which is a play on words, as the "B.S." in the title can refer both to Strauchan's initials and also the word "bullshit".
- "Strauchanie a legend? Yep, it's official". The Age. Melbourne. 6 June 2007.
- Helliar, Peter and Paul Calleja. Bryan Strauchan: My story: The rise and rise of a genuine superstar of Australian sport. Sydney: Allen & Unwin, 2007. ISBN 978-1-74175-343-1