Some of the most respected voices in Queensland rugby league circles have led the tributes to retiring administrator Michael Pease.
Following more than three decades with Queensland Rugby League, Pease is putting the finishing touches to several key projects before signing off next month.
Current and former staff came together at RLCQ on Friday to celebrate Pease’s immense contribution to the game.Two giants of rugby league in Queensland – Chris 'Choppy' Close and Wayne Bennett – shared their experiences with the respected former South East Region manager.
“I really want to say thank you, mate, for the friendships and the times that we had together – the effort that you put in to build all of our dreams and to help them come to life,” Close said.
Michael Pease retires after 38 years at QRL
Bennett said he was fortunate to have Pease in his corner during his early years coaching the Queensland Maroons State of Origin team.
“You were very good at what you did, you were very calm, which is what was needed,” Bennett said.
QRL managing director Robert Moore echoed those sentiments.
“He’s brought so many things to us, but one of those things over that period of time is his knowledge,” Moore said.
On being recruited to work as an administration assistant by Ross Livermore in 1987, Pease was one of only eight staff members and worked alongside the legendary Wally Lewis.
Initially, Pease helped run Lang Park and major footy events such as the Winfield State League.
From 1990, Pease also took on the management of the State of Origin team and then in 1996 became CEO of the Channel Nine Cup.
He looked after the Queensland representative teams and programs, ran the events and carnivals and also helped start the QAS program.
In 2008, Pease commenced work as the South East Region manager, a position he held until June 30 this year when he transitioned into a projects role with the QRL.
“There are numerous achievements that Michael has made and his contribution to the game has been remarkable,” Moore said.
“While managing the Origin team, he was awarded the Peter Jackson Award and made a significant contribution to this team's success.
“He was a key part of the team that introduced the Intrust Super Cup competition in Queensland in 1996, despite the challenging environment, and he should certainly be acknowledged for the work he has done to amalgamate and unite the SEQ Region.”