Medal honours Artie's league legacy

Published 1:20pm 3 March 2023

Medal honours Artie's league legacy
Words by Nick Crockford

Pictured: Brad Beetson with the Artie Legacy Medal at today's ceremony beside the statue of his father at Suncorp Stadium.

The Dolphins and Roosters will be playing for more than just points and pride on Sunday - players will also be battling for the Artie Legacy Medal.

Named after rugby league legend Arthur Beetson, the medal will be presented to the player-of-the-match after every NRL clash between the sides.

It’s fitting Dolphins' historic NRL debut is at Suncorp Stadium (formerly Lang Park) between two of Beetson’s clubs at a venue he graced many times.

He was part of Redcliffe Dolphins’ first Premiership win in 1965, then went to Sydney and became the first Indigenous captain of any Australian sporting team.

Medal honours Artie's league legacy

Beetson won Premierships with the Roosters before returning to Queensland to captain the first Maroons’ Origin team (to an historic win at Lang Park) and cement his legendary status.

Dolphins’ Chief Executive Terry Reader said: “It was Arthur’s dream to have his two favourite clubs face each other in an NRL match.

“On Sunday we will get to bring that dream to life for his family.”

Reader said the award would “recognise all the amazing things Arthur did for, not only rugby league, but as a role model for Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples”.

Picture gallery - click through

Beetson’s son Brad was at Suncorp Stadium today representing the family and having his first look at the medal honouring is sporting immortal father.

“It’s a great honour for the family and a continuation of dad’s legacy, so much of which was formed here at Suncorp,” Brad Beetson said.

“It’s going to very exciting for us as a family, we’re very honoured and I’m sure Dad will be looking down from up there.

“My dad had an aura about him, a larger-than-life presence and a great passion for people. He loved rugby league.”

Brad said he remembered watching his father play for Redcliffe “when he came back” from Sydney and it was one of his hardest decisions to leave again to coach the Roosters.

Medal honours Artie's league legacy

“I was a Redcliffe supporter before I was a Roosters supporter,” Brad said, “but they are both great clubs, with great tradition and have been great to our family.”

Beetson’s grandchildren will run the match balls onto the field to start the game - which kicks-off at 3.05pm - and the family will be interviewed on the field.

Junior matches at half-time will feature teams from Beetson’s home town Roma, as well as Redcliffe. 

The Artie Legacy Medal will be presented by his family at the end of the game, which is attracting huge media attention and ticket sales.

The Arthur Beetson Foundation, honouring Indigenous Australians making outstanding contributions to Queensland Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islanders, will get proceeds from a charity raffle at Sunday's match.

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