Farewell to a Murri who change Queensland Rugby League forever.
Gone too young.
Premier Anna Bligh today said it was a sad day for Queensland and the nation.
“Our thoughts are with his family and friends at this time as they deal with his sudden death — which has come as a shock to us all,” Ms Bligh said.
It would be an understatement to say Arthur Beetson was a favourite son in Queensland.
“The man fondly known as ‘Big Artie’ could walk into any pub in the Sunshine State and be mobbed — such was his status.
“Everyone wanted to shake his hand, pat him on the back, and hear his stories.”
Queensland Sport Minister Phil Reeve said: “Arthur Beetson’s football career is the stuff of legend — how Roma’s teenage five-eighth became the greatest creative ball-playing front-rower in the history of the game.
“With a rare creative instinct, a free spirit, a desire to `play the game’, Beetson knocked down the conventional role of the front rower, and rebuilt it to his own rules.
“His opposition team members knew he could make the big tackle, make the great run or unload a great ball, his talents were almost unlimited.
“This larger than life character was a great supporter of the Indigenous All Stars and the recently instituted Queensland Murri Carnival.
“He recently assisted Brothers St Brendons in their bid to recover after this year’s floods.
“I will never forget the day I went to the first state of origin with my father and was overwhelmed when I heard the heard the crowd cheering Artie Artie Artie,” Mr Reeves said.