ONLY GAME, 1980: ARTIE BEETSON IN QLD JERSEY FOR FIRST TIME

1980. Lang Park. Arthur Beetson

Rugby league Immortal Arthur “Artie” Beetson helps put State of Origin on the map as he pulls on a Maroon jersey for the first time in his legendary career to captain Queensland in July, 1980, at the birthplace of Origin, Lang Park.

Beetson previously played for New South Wales based on interstate regulations due to his Sydney-based club career, but after Senator Ron McAuliffe’s proposal for Queensland players to represent their own state; big Artie’s dream of playing for Queensland finally comes true.

Inspiring his Maroons to an upset 20-10 victory over New South Wales, Artie creates a legacy which remains stronger than ever to this day.

ARLC CEO David Smith hails Artie as the “Godfather of Origin,” and the front-rower’s passion to overcome the Blues set the tone for Australia’s greatest sporting rivalry.

To celebrate Artie’s legacy, Queensland will retire his number 11 jersey for Game I of this year’s series; a fitting tribute in the 100th State of Origin clash.

Lang Park, July 8, 1980

Queensland: Colin Scott; Kerry Boustead, Mal Meninga, Chris Close, Brad Backer; Allan Smith, Greg Oliphant; Wally Lewis, Rod Reddy, Rohan Hancock, Arthur Beetson (c), John Lang, Rod Morris. Replacements: Norm Carr (not used), Bruce Astill (not used).

Coach: John McDonald

NSW: Graham Eadie; Chris Anderson, Steve Rogers, Mick Cronin, Greg Brentnall; Alan Thompson, Tom  Raudonikis (c), Jim Leis, Graeme Wynn, Bob Cooper, Craig Young, Steve Edge, Gary Hambly. Replacements: Robert Stone, Steve Martin (not used).

Coach: Ted Glossop

Queensland 20 (Boustead, Close tries; Meninga 7 goals) def New South Wales 10 (Raudonikis, Brentnall tries; Cronin 2 goals)

Crowd: 33,210

Referee: Billy Thompson (Great Britain)

Man of the Match: Chris Close

*This is our first in our line of features highlighting the 100 Greatest Moments in Origin. You can watch more video highlights under 100 Origin Moments under our Origin tab.