Gene Miles, Trevor Gillmeister and Queensland junior players.

The late, great Dick "Tosser" Turner would have been smiling down from Maroon heaven somewhere high above Suncorp Stadium.

On Tuesday the Former Origin Greats [FOGS] and QRL announced a three-year partnership that will see all footballs used by the 60,000 players in Queensland stamped with the FOGS logo.

Turner, the founding FOGS chairman, was a major driver of State of Origin success for the Maroons as team manager. His passion for the game at grassroots level ran just as deep.

He knew future generations of Queensland greats needed to be nurtured from their junior days. He championed that view until he took his last breath in 2008.

FOGS executive chairman Gene Miles made the announcement of the partnership at the home ground of Norths Devils at Bishop Park, a field of dreams for many youngsters over the years including Greg Inglis.

"This is the opportunity to continue the legacy of our founding chairman, and great man, the late Dick 'Tosser' Turner," Miles said.

Dick 'Tosser' Turner celebrates with Wally Lewis, Paul Vautin and Chris Close in 1995.
Dick 'Tosser' Turner celebrates with Wally Lewis, Paul Vautin and Chris Close in 1995.

"He was always very passionate about rugby league at State of Origin level but also at the grassroots level.

"There are 60,000 participants throughout Queensland in our great game at the moment and we'd like to play our role in developing those guys and supporting the rural areas that are going through a tough time at the moment.

"Tosser goes right back to the Ross Livermore days and the Senator [Ron] McAuliffe days and is the guy that set this organisation up for us.

State of Origin players don't just appear. They have got to be developed, recruited and identified

FOGS executive chairman Gene Miles

"He funded it for the first few years. We lost him coming up to 11 years ago and I think he would be looking down quite proudly now with how the organisation has turned out to be.”

As Miles spoke, in the background was a poster of all the Maroons to have played State of Origin from number one, Arthur Beetson, to number 197, Kalyn Ponga.

Miles said the young men and women who will pass and kick the FOGS sponsored balls for the next three years will no doubt be inspired to want to follow in their footsteps.

"Kalyn Ponga is the 197th player to play Origin footy in what is coming up to 40 years. With the exposure these guys get on television every kid wants to be a Kalyn Ponga," Miles said.

"State of Origin players don't just appear. They have got to be developed, recruited and identified so let’s just hope that of the 60,000 participants a small percentage will filter through to the top."

QRL managing director Robert Moore said the new partnership with the FOGS had come at just the right time with competitions set to kick off across the state.

"We're delighted to have FOGS continue on as a partner and we look forward to working with Gene and his team to drive further engagement for community rugby league," Moore said.