By Steve Ricketts – QRL History Committee
Dud Beattie, a veteran of 15 Tests in the front row for Australia and 19 matches for Queensland, passed away today on the Sunshine Coast just eight days shy of his 82nd birthday.
Born at Marburg, Beattie played all his club football for Ipswich Railways, making his Queensland debut in 1958 and his Test debut the following year.
He toured Britain, France and Italy with the 1959-60 Kangaroos and returned to the UK at the end of the 1960 season for the World Cup.
In the 1960 domestic season, he formed an 'all Ipswich front row' with Noel Kelly (Goodna) and Gary Parcell (Harrisville) for the First Test against France in Sydney, although Kelly was playing at Ayr in North Queensland at the time.
Beattie 'retired' from representative football before the 1961 interstate series, but answered an SOS from an injury-hit Maroons squad in Sydney, and did enough to make Australia's tour of New Zealand.
Following the tour, Queensland met NSW again in Brisbane, winning 15-2 with Beattie making a number of telling line breaks. A second Queensland victory squared the series.
Beattie's last Test against Great Britain in Sydney in 1962 was his most controversial.
In agony from a rib injury and with no replacements allowed in those days, Beattie goaded British hard man Derek 'Rocky' Turner into a fight, leading to both men being dismissed by referee, Darcy Lawler.
Australia went on to win the Test 18-17 to prevent an Ashes clean sweep by the British.
Beattie remained a passionate advocate of rugby league after his retirement, and was involved in the formative years of the Ipswich Jets in the mid-1980s.
He was also a long-serving Queensland (later State of Origin) and Australian selector.
In his declining years he was a staunch member of the Men of League charity, attending functions in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast where he made his home.
In 2009 he was made a Men of League Honouree along with his 1960 Australian front row partners, Kelly and Parcell.
Queensland Rugby League (QRL) Chairman Peter Betros today paid tribute to the “outstanding” forward who played in an era when regional rugby league was immensely strong.
“In those days, people were extremely passionate about playing for their home towns and cities and they would often play against visiting international sides,” Betros said.
“Dud was right up to his elbows in all of that. After he retired, he was a great contributor and stayed involved for many years as a representative selector.
“He was very easy to get on with, but he was always a straight-shooter. If you were going well as a player he told you, and if you weren’t he would tell you that too.”
Dud Beattie's funeral will be held at 3.30pm on Thursday, April 21 at Gregson and Weight Funeral Home, 5 Gregson Place, Caloundra.