Beetson’s memory to live on

Arthur Beetson’s number 11 Queensland jersey will be “retired” from the 100th Holden State of Origin game, which will be played at Brisbane’s Suncorp Stadium on May 28.
The former prop, an Immortal who was instrumental in making Origin such a success, passed away in December 2011 and a bronze statue of Beetson now stands outside the host stadium of the Brisbane stadium.
NRL chief executive Dave Smith believes the gesture is a fitting tribute to the man who first led the Maroons out in the first ever Origin game in 1980.
“Arthur is the father of Origin and deserves to be recognised for his contribution to the concept,” said NRL chief executive Dave Smith.
“When children ask why there is no number 11 for Queensland this year, their mums and dads will explain that the jersey belongs to Arthur Beetson.
“So the legend of the late Arthur Beetson will live on.”
Smith also believes that the 34th Origin Series will be one of the best yet.
“Queensland would love nothing more than to make it nine in a row and NSW are just as desperate to stop them,” he added.
“This Queensland team has produced some of the finest players in Origin history, including Johnathan Thurston, Greg Inglis, Billy Slater and Cameron Smith.
“But Laurie Daley and Paul Gallen are determined to bring their run to a halt so it should be an amazing series.”
The second Origin game will be played at ANZ Stadium in Sydney on June 18 and the third match will be at Suncorp on July 9.

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