The Bouncer Whose Story Is Way Better Than Road House

A bouncer's job is far from dull. Even if a bouncer isn't removing rowdy customers from premises or barring other customers from entering clubs or bars, a bouncer has a perfect view of humanity at its most drunken, stupid, and yes, amusing. Indeed, some bouncers are amongst the smartest people in the world, like Chris Langan, who has an IQ anywhere from 195 to 210. Some real-life bouncers have turned to Hollywood, like Vin Diesel. Other times, Hollywood actors have played bouncers, like Jacob Gyllenhaal and Patrick Swayze in "Road House," in 2024 and 1989, respectively. And sometimes bouncers are 90 years old, like the man with probably more than a few World War II stories, veteran Eric Voyce in Cardiff, Wales.

In the original "Road House," Swayze's John Dalton plays a bouncer who gets pulled into an underworld of crime and fisticuffs. In the new "Road House," Gyllenhaal's Elwood Dalton plays a former hard-hitting UFC fighter who becomes a bouncer ... who then gets pulled into an underworld of crime and fisticuffs. So basically, the new movie adds a step. Also, it adds Conor McGregor for some reason.

While real-life bouncer and nonagenarian Eric Voyce might not have lived a life of fantasy fighting in the streets, he did fight in a real war with the British Royal Air Force (RAF) for six years. Frankly speaking, that's much more impressive. As for how he got started bouncing, Voyce substituted for a bouncer who didn't show up one day — and that was 24 years ago. Voyce kept his position after that, but sadly passed away in 2013.

World War II veteran turned bouncer

It's pretty hardcore to start bouncing in one's 60s, but that's exactly what Eric Voyce did. That being said, he wasn't patrolling an unruly dance club in downtown Cardiff with blackened windows across the front of the venue. Rather, he was a bouncer — and "doorman," as BBC says — at the Cardiff Medical Centre Sports & Social Club at the University Hospital of Wales. Even so, for a social club at a hospital to have a bouncer it must rank amongst the most raucous medical facilities around.

We don't have a ton of details about how Voyce got started at his job, but it was more Voyce's retirement activity than any kind of serious work. Back during World War II, he traveled with the RAF to places like Italy, Egypt, and Lebanon, wielding his skills as a mechanic all the while. When he retired from Cardiff Screen Printing at the age of 66, he made some kind of delivery to the club in 1985, was asked to help guard the door, and continued doing so quite literally until he died in 2013. 

By 2009, he was making £5.80 an hour, and working two or three times a week. He also got a free half-pint of his favorite beer — Worthington Bitter — with every shift, which is definitely a sound reason to keep going to work into one's 90s.

A Cardiff, Wales community staple

Back in 2009, bouncer Eric Voyce had nothing but wonderful things to say about his job, same as people had nothing but wonderful things to say about him. At that time, Voyce told the BBC, "It's great working here and gets me out of the house so my wife's quite happy about that. It's not like a job — I've made so many friends over the years. I'd love to carry on until I'm 100." Regarding whether or not he had to deal with any contentious people, he said, "We get football fanatics coming in and we have a bit of banter but there's never any nonsense."

His son Michael also spoke highly of Voyce's job, saying on Wales Online, "It couldn't be a better job for him really, he gets to come up here, meet all his mates, have a half of Worthy by the bar and chase the nurses! He's a gregarious character and loves meeting people." Co-worker Alexandra Lyon said of him, "He's a real gentleman on the door. If anyone has any problems he'll help them sort it out."

Sadly, Voyce never got the chance to keep working until he was 100. He died in 2013, at the age of 93. In part, his obituary on Funeral Notices reads that he will be "sadly missed by his family and many friends." No doubt the entire city of Cardiff was happier for his presence, too.