Rugby league legend Arthur Beetson.
Rugby league legend Arthur Beetson. Matt King - Getty Images

This one is for Artie

QUEENSLAND lost a rugby league legend when Arthur Beetson died in December. And Colin Scott lost a great mate.

Beetson may be gone, but Scott, who played in 18 State of Origin games for Queensland, is sure his name will live on forever.

Those wearing a Maroon jersey in Melbourne tonight and in future years will ensure that.

First the battle cry was "Queenslander", now it looks as though it will be "Artie" proudly yelled out as a call to arms at Etihad Stadium.

Storm fullback Billy Slater has been heard shouting "Artie, Artie" during training.

If that is the case, Scott, who played alongside Beetson in many games, including the inaugural State of Origin in 1980, said he couldn't be happier about it.

"Artie is Origin and always will be," Scott, who played one Test for Australia against New Zealand in 1983 and 14 times for the Brisbane Broncos, said.

"He was an inspiration to everyone who played alongside him, those cheering from the stands and throughout the state.

"So hearing the boys might be shouting his name in the thick of the battle would be a great way to honour him - it would be very fitting for the big fella and I know he would love it.

"You can be sure that he'll be up there living every tackle with them."

When the Maroons run on to the field, each player's jersey will carry Beetson's name plus those of two other deceased Queensland stars, Peter Jackson and Ross Henrick.

Scott said he was still coming to terms with the fact Beetson was gone.

"Artie is an Immortal and you expect guys like that to be around forever. That's why it's still so hard to believe he's not around anymore," Scott, the number two member of the FOGS (Former Origin Greats) organisation behind Beetson, said.

"I can tell you that it's even harder for those who knew him at this time of the year because it's the first time he won't be part of it (Origin).

"It will be so sad not hearing his thoughts on the games in the media - it just won't be the same and never will.

"Saying that, I have no doubt that the Queenslanders will make them all (Beetson, Jackson and Henrick) proud.

"Artie never took a backward step - I don't think he knew how to, and the boys won't tonight."

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