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Wally Lewis Closeup
Wally Lewis Closeup

Photographs supplied by Diane Watson

The sculpture commemorates rugby league player Wally Lewis.

When he was six years old, Lewis was playing rugby league with Cannon Hill Stars, usually at lock forward. He played in junior Queensland school teams, at times representing his state against New South Wales before a State or Test match at the Sydney Cricket Ground.

Lewis attended Brisbane State High School during the 1970s. In 1977 while still in high school, Lewis also played representative rugby union as a centre, touring Europe and Japan with the Australian Schoolboys Rugby Union team

 In 1978, Lewis played rugby league with Valleys Rugby League club in Brisbane and played for Queensland in their ill-fated clashes with New South Wales in the late 70s, before being chosen at lock for the first State of Origin game in 1980.

In 1981, Lewis assumed the captaincy after the retirement of Arthur Beetson, and it was a position he held until his retirement from the State arena in 1991. He played 31 matches in total and was, and remains, the most dominant player ever to take part in Origin football. Lewis was the man most responsible for Queensland`s absolute domination of State of Origin in the 1980s, earning himself the title of "The King".

He made his Test debut in 1981, and was a fixture in the side until 1990, when injuries forced him out of the team in controversial circumstances. In 1991 he returned for his final matches. He captained his country on 23 occasions and was a pivotal member of the victorious 1986 Kangaroo tour to Great Britain and France.

Location

Address:Caxton Street, Suncorp Stadium, Milton, 4064
State:QLD
Area:AUS
GPS Coordinates:Lat: -27.463056
Long: 153.009722
Note: GPS Coordinates are approximate.
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Details

Monument Type:Sculpture
Monument Theme:People
Sub-Theme:Sport
Designer:John Underwood & Artbusters

Dedication

Approx. Monument Dedication Date:1992
Front Inscription

Wally Lewis
"The Emperor of Lang Park"

This title was bestowed upon Wally Lewis by the former Chairman of the Queensland Rugby League , Senator and acclaimed "Father of State of Origin" , the late Ron McAuliffe OBE, in recognition of the impact Wally had at matches played at this ground across three decades.

Lewis is arguably the greatest rugby league player of all time. He is one of only a handful of players to be named a Rugby League Immortal and was one of the six inaugural members of the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame.

He achieved the greatest honour in Rugby League - the captaincy of his country - but it was his feats as Queensland skipper and playmaker in State of Origin that he achieved legendary status. He played 31 Origin games from 1980 to 1991 (30 as captain) in which he won a record 8 Man of the Match awards. Lewis' influence was obvious with Queensland winning the series 9 times during his 12 year Origin career.

The name Wally Lewis is synonomous with State of Origin and Queensland Rugby League and continues to be an inspiration to future generations of footballers.

This statue was provided through public donations.

Source: MA
Monument details supplied by Monument Australia - www.monumentaustralia.org.au
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