The Queensland Rugby League were saddened to hear of the passing of Billy Lewis last week.

He was a member of the 1959 Queensland team which was the last team to win a series prior to State of Origin – a feat which was honoured by Maroons coach Mal Meninga in the 2013 Naming of the Team dinner.

Lewis was also player #467 for the Sydney Roosters and a Life Member of Bondi United.

He was 79 when he passed after a long battle with dementia. 

His funeral will be held next Tuesday (September 22) at Walter Carter Funerals, Oxford Street, Bondi Junction at 2pm.

About Bill Lewis – by the QRL History Committee

Billy was a Sydney Easts (Roosters) junior who played in the 1955 President Cup side, and was graded with the club as player number 467.

The era in which he played was a golden era for country rugby league in both Queensland and NSW with many country clubs able to lure well known players from both the Sydney and Brisbane competitions.

Many players took the chance to further their playing careers outside the major centres and Billy certainly did so when he moved to the Burdekin competition based around the North Queensland towns of Ayr and Home Hill, 100km south of Townsville.

From the Burdekin, he made the 1959 North Queensland, Queensland Country and Queensland sides.

The Queensland Country side he was part of  included many Queensland and several Australian players, including Brian Jones, Des Hendry and Bobby Cook who like Billy were playing in the Burdekin at the time..

He played one full game of the 1959 interstate series which Queensland won 3 games to 1. This was the last full series in which Queensland won outright before the first full State of Origin series in 1982.