Arthur Beetson

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Career Stats & Summary

Vital Statistics

Full Name
Arthur Henry Beetson
Born
Monday, 22nd January, 1945
Died
Thursday, 1st December, 2011 (Aged 66 years and 312 days)
Place Of Birth
Roma, Queensland, Australia

Awards & Accolades

1974
RLW Player of the Year

Biography

One of the greatest attacking forwards the game has produced, Arthur Beetson was born in Roma (Queensland) and was graded as a 16-year-old centre with Redcliffe. Coach Henry Holloway quickly had him ear-marked for the forwards and after starring in the club's grand final win in 1965, Balmain signed him and team-mate Kevin Yow Yeh. In his first year with the Tigers Beetson gained a reputation as a poor trainer but his immense talent earned him a place in the deciding Third Test against Great Britain. Australian coach Ian Walsh publicly questioned Beetson's fitness but the bulky second rower dominated the first half of the match, setting up two tries and worrying the opposition with his strong bursts. Although replaced at half-time, the damage had been done and Beetson had laid the foundation for victory. Beetson was sent off in a City-Country match late in 1967, which was a trial for Kangaroo selection, and was overlooked for the tour of England and France. Despite being one of Australia's best forwards in 1968’s World Cup victory, his time at Balmain was controversial. The following year, Beetson was sent off in the major semi-final and missed the Tigers’ grand final upset against Souths two weeks later. He played in all three Tests against Great Britain in 1970 but was then overlooked for the World Cup in England. Season's end saw his career at the crossroads. It is a sign of the big man's character that he was able to pick up his career at Easts and stake his claim as the best forward in the world. Under coach Don Furner, a fitter and more committed Beetson resurrected his career. After regaining his place in Australia's World Cup squad in 1972, he toured with the 1973 Kangaroos. Beetson's ability to off-load passes in seemingly impossible positions had now matured and England, the home of fine forward play, stood in awe of his talents. He captained Australia in France in 1973 and against Great Britain in the Second Test in 1974. The transformation from 'lazy forward' to brilliant leader was completed with Easts' consecutive premiership wins in 1974-75. Although he played in only 14 Tests, he led Australia to win the ‘World Series’ in 1975 and ‘World Cup’ in 1977. In the latter competition Beetson was the centre of a major controversy when he was the victim of interstate politics and was left out of the side to play NZ. ARL Chairman Kevin Humphreys refused to accept the squad without Beetson's name in it but although he was re-instated, the Australian captain chose to follow his conscience and stand down from the match. His remaining playing years were checkered. After a time as Easts captain-coach (1977-78) Beetson left the club to play for P’matta but his two seasons there were affected by injury. In 1980, at age 35, he captained Queensland in the inaugural State of Origin match. A rejuvenated Beetson led his home state to victory, 20-10, and after returning to Brisbane to captain-coach Redcliffe in 1981, coached Queensland to success in 1981-84. Beetson's short time as Australian coach (2 Tests) ended with the loss to NZ in Brisbane at Lang Park in 1983, and coaching stints with Easts (1986-89) and Cronulla (1992-93) achieved mixed success. Coach of the Year in 1987, he was also awarded the OAM the same year. 1993 proved to be a personally unhappy season and the Sharks sacked him. The following year he returned to Easts as the club's recruitment officer and took over as caretaker coach after the resignation of Mark Murray. Having served as both a Queensland and Australian Test selector, Beetson was named the game’s seventh post-war ‘immortal’ in 2002. One of the elite few Indigenous Australians to captain a national sporting team he was duly named captain of the Indigenous RL ‘Team of the Century’ in 2001. Beetson has since been named a Rugby League ‘immortal’ and was inducted into the ARL’s Hall of Fame in 2003. Autobiography, Big Artie (2004).

- ALAN WHITICKER

Career Statistics

All statistics shown in this section are based only on data available in the RLP database, and are not necessarily a complete and/or 100% accurate representation of a player's career. This information should be used as a guide only. If you see a question mark (?), it denotes that the figure is not available.

To view a list of corresponding matches, click on the Match list icon.

International

Test Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972-75, 1977 28 1 -   - 3 20 6 2 71.43% Match list
Overall 1966-1977 28 1 0   0 3 20 6 2 71.43% Match list

International Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1966-1975 1 - -   - - 1 0 0 100.00% Match list
Overall 1975 1 0 0   0 1 0 0 100.00% Match list

World Cup Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Australia 1966-1977 14 1 -   - 3 10 2 2 71.43% Match list
Overall 1968-1977 14 1 0   0 3 10 2 2 71.43% Match list


Representative

Australia - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
NSW Firsts 1966, 1968, 1970, 1972-75, 1977 17 3 -   - 9 12 3 2 70.59% Match list
NSW City Firsts 1966-68, 1970, 1973-75, 1977 9 - -   - - 7 2 0 77.78% Match list
Queensland 1980 1 - -   - - 1 0 0 100.00% Match list
Brisbane Firsts 1981 1 - -   - - 0 1 0 0.00% Match list
QLD Firsts 1981 2 - -   - - 0 2 0 0.00% Match list
Overall 1966-1981 30 3 0   0 9 20 8 2 66.67% Match list


Club Career

Australian League Matches - By Year

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Balmain NSWRFL 1966 ? 1 -   - 3  
Balmain NSWRFL 1967 ? 1 -   1 5  
Balmain NSWRFL 1968 ? 3 -   - 9  
Balmain NSWRFL 1969 ? 1 -   - 3  
Balmain NSWRFL 1970 ? - -   - -  
Eastern Suburbs NSWRFL 1971 ? 2 -   - 6  
Eastern Suburbs NSWRFL 1972 ? 1 -   - 3  
Eastern Suburbs NSWRFL 1973 ? 1 -   - 3  
Eastern Suburbs NSWRFL 1974 ? 4 -   - 12  
Eastern Suburbs NSWRFL 1975 ? 3 -   - 9  
Eastern Suburbs NSWRFL 1976 ? 5 -   - 15  
Eastern Suburbs NSWRFL 1977 ? 1 -   - 3  
Eastern Suburbs NSWRFL 1978 ? - -   - -  
Parramatta NSWRFL 1979 ? - -   - -  
Parramatta NSWRFL 1980 11 1 -   - 3 3 8 0 27.27% Match list
Overall 1966-1980 ? 24 0   1 74 ? ? ? ?  

Australian League Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Balmain 1966-70 ? 6 -   1 20 ? ? ? ?  
Eastern Suburbs 1971-78 ? 17 -   - 51 ? ? ? ?  
Parramatta 1979-80 ? 1 -   - 3 ? ? ? ?  
Parramatta 1980 11 1 -   - 3 3 8 0 27.27% Match list
Overall 1966-1980 ? 24 0   1 74 ? ? ? ?  

All Australian Club Matches - By Team

Team Years App T G   GK % FG Pts W L D Win %  
Balmain 1966, 1969 3 6 -   1 20 0 3 0 0.00% Match list
Eastern Suburbs 1971-78 ? 17 -   - 51 ? ? ? ?  
Eastern Suburbs 1972, 1974-77 12 14 -   - 42 6 6 0 50.00% Match list
Parramatta 1979-80 ? 1 -   - 3 ? ? ? ?  
Parramatta 1980 11 1 -   - 3 3 8 0 27.27% Match list
Overall 1966-1980 ? 24 0   1 74 ? ? ? ?  

Your Say

JOHN REA (BONDI) says: i was lucky to see ARTIE at his peak,he was the GREATEST,he played in a violent arena by todays standards & he was TOP DOG.1974 &1975,I feel were his BEST,& he dominated the GAME.THANKYOU ARTHUR,you were a great inspiration to ALL FOOTBALLERS & to all AUSSIES! RIP CHAMPION. (18/12/2011)

Billy says: Great man. That is all that can be said. (30/12/2011)

Paul Carter says: In 1980 Beetson won the Slazenger Rugby League Squash Championships.He Beat St Georges Michael Sorridimi 18-15 in the Final.It was shown during World Of Sport on TCN Channel 9. (03/05/2012)

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Last modified: Fri, 05 Sep 2014 17:46:48 +1000 (Sydney time)