Queensland Minister for Sport and Racing Steve Dickson
League Legend Arthur Beetson Honoured Ahead Of Origin III
Victor P Taffa
Queenslanders heading to the State of Origin decider tomorrow night will now be watched over by League legend Arthur Beetson following the unveiling of his memorial statue by Sports Minister Steve Dickson.
Mr. Dickson said the 200 kg bronze statue captured the rugby league immortal also the first indigenous Australian to captain his country in any sport in full flight at the height of his career.
“This statue, designed by Queensland sculptor Liam Hardy is a fitting tribute to a proud Queenslander who loved everything about rugby league and passed on that love to countless players including myself.” Mr. Dickson said.
“Being coached by Artie at Redcliffe many years ago is a memory I will always cherish, and the lessons learned about mateship and teamwork are ones I’ve carried with me ever since.”
“I know the spirit of Artie and his legacy will be felt amongst the crowd of Queenslanders here tomorrow night cheering our state to victory.”
Mr. Dickson said the statue was a great addition to the Northern Plaza of the stadium, where it joined those of Queensland legends Wally Lewis and Darren Lockyer.
Former Origin Greats (FOGs) Executive Chairman Gene Miles said Artie Beetson held a special place in the history of State of Origin.
“Not only does he hold the honour of being Queensland’s number 1 Origin player, Artie as both a player and coach set the benchmark for what is expected of everyone given the opportunity to wear the maroon jersey.” Mr. Miles said.
“His legacy continues to live on through ‘Achieving Results Through Indigenous Education (ARTIE)’, a FOGs program that was very dear to his heart.”
Mr. Beetson’s son Brad Beetson said this was a great honour for his father and family.
“We have often said Dad was a proud Queenslander, a proud Aboriginal and a proud Australian.” Mr. Beetson said.
“He would be humbled by this great occasion and the family would like to thank all involved.”
“Now all rugby league fans for years to come will enjoy the statues of three legends of the game as they continue to support the mighty Maroons.”