Man gets tattoo to gain free entry to Leeds city centre nightclub

John Whiteley with his Habit tattoo.
John Whiteley with his Habit tattoo.
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Clubber John Whiteley has got a habit he can’t get rid of – because he’s had the name of his favourite night out tattooed on his back.

The 30-year-old hasn’t missed a night of Habit, held at The Space in Leeds city centre, since it started five years ago.

He even left hospital immediately after the birth of his daughter to ensure he could get to the club night.

After getting sick of queuing every week, the team behind the event joked that if he got a tattoo of its logo he could get VIP entry.

John said: “I went in the week after with the tattoo and they were just shocked.”


John, from Drighlington, near Leeds, first started going to the Thursday nighter by accident five years ago when he saw a crowd outside and decided to go in.

He loved the event so much that he hasn’t missed a night since – even rushing to its annual birthday celebration after his daughter Lydia, now five, was born.

“She had been born and they were going to the ward when I said ‘I have got to go now’. It didn’t go down too well,” the dad-of-three admitted.

“Everyone thinks I’m mad but I just love Habit. It’s the perfect night out.

“I can‘t ever imagine going clubbing anywhere else. I‘ll never give it up for love nor money.”

John spent £120 having the club’s logo inked on his back, which took three hours.

Now not only does he get to queue-jump, he also gets in free to the night, which normally costs £6.

Club promoter Danny Bond, who runs Habit with Alex Simmons, said the night has a cult following - but that John is their biggest fan.

Danny added: “He is one of our best regulars. One day me and my club partner DJ Alex were joking around with him and said if he got the club name tattooed on his back then he could have free entry for life.

“We didn’t think anymore about it then the next week he came in and he had the name in black on his back.

“We couldn’t believe it and thought it was fake, but when we tried to rub it off we realised it was real.

“Now he is VIP for life. ”

However his dedication to clubbing hasn’t gone down well his girlfriend Rachel Swithenbank, who wasn’t too impressed with his tattoo.

She said: “I’m all for having a good time but he takes a bit too far especially when he left during the birth.

“That was not on and we have had rows about it. But he has never missed a night.”

Photo: Neil Cross

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