Big Artie

Big Artie

Arthur Beetson with Ian Heads

ABC Books

He was the greatest footballer that I have ever seen and the best forward the game ever saw. And he was such a bloody good bloke … a man of his word. I can’t believe he’s gone. The game has lost a great friend and a great man.

Tommy Raudonikis

The sudden death of rugby league giant Arthur Beetson OAM on 30 November 2011 unleashed a wave of emotion rarely before experienced in a game that has been labelled the most demanding on the planet. Hard men cried that day, among them some of the toughest characters that Australian sport has ever produced.

Beeston proved himself a rugby league genius – whether at prop forward or second row, he is acknowledged as the greatest ball-playing forward the game has seen. And in becoming both the first indigenous player to captain his country in a major sport and, later, the towering inspiration for league’s great innovation of modern times – State of Origin football – he has left behind legacies that will last as long as the game is played.

Big Artie is Beetson’s candid autobiography, told in Beeston’s typical boots ’n’ all manner – as you would expect from a man who played 372 matches of senior rugby league, most of them at the highest, fiercest level.

I just broke up, I just started crying … and I’m proud of it.

Fellow league legend Johnny Raper, on hearing of the death of Big Artie

He could do it all on a football field. He was an entertainer … and a great player.

Jack Gibson