Former Ipswich rugby league legend Dud Beattie (Dudley Beattie) reflects on his time in the spotlight of Australian rugby league.
Former Ipswich rugby league legend Dud Beattie (Dudley Beattie) reflects on his time in the spotlight of Australian rugby league. Brett Wortman/bw168472

Ipswich legend Dud was one of Australia's best

ONE of Ipswich's greatest and best known footballers has passed away, just eight days shy of his 82nd birthday.

Dud Beattie, a veteran of 15 Tests in the front row for Australia and 19 matches for Queensland, died today on the Sunshine Coast.

Born at Marburg, Beattie played all his club football for Ipswich Railways, making his Queensland debut in 1958 and his Test debut the following year.

He toured Britain, France and Italy with the 1959-60 Kangaroos and returned to the UK at the end of the 1960 season for the World Cup.

In the 1960 domestic season, he formed an "all Ipswich front row'' with Noel Kelly (Goodna) and Gary Parcell (Harrisville) for the First Test against France in Sydney. Kelly was playing at Ayr in North Queensland at the time.

Beattie retired from representative football before the 1961 interstate series, but answered an SOS from an injury-hit Maroons squad in Sydney. He did enough to make Australia's tour of New Zealand.

Following the tour, Queensland met NSW again in Brisbane, winning 15-2 with Beattie making a number of telling line breaks. A second Queensland victory squared the series.

Beattie's last Test against Great Britain in Sydney in 1962 was his most controversial.

In agony from a rib injury and with no replacements allowed in those days, Beattie goaded British hard man Derek "Rocky'' Turner into a fight, leading to both men being dismissed by referee Darcy Lawler.

Australia went on to win the Test 18-17 to prevent an Ashes clean sweep by the British.

Beattie remained a passionate advocate of rugby league after his retirement. He was involved in the formative years of the Ipswich Jets in the mid-1980s. He was also a long-serving Queensland (later State of Origin) and Australian selector.

In his declining years he was a staunch member of the Men of League charity, attending functions in Brisbane and on the Sunshine Coast where he made his home.

In 2009, he was made a Men of League Honouree along with his 1960 Australian front row partners, Kelly and Parcell.

Queensland Rugby League (QRL) chairman Peter Betros today paid tribute to the "outstanding'' forward who played in an era when regional rugby league was immensely strong.

"In those days, people were extremely passionate about playing for their home towns and cities and they would often play against visiting international sides,'' Betros said.

"Dud was right up to his elbows in all of that. After he retired, he was a great contributor and stayed involved for many years as a representative selector.''

Dud Beattie's funeral will be held at 3.30pm on Thursday at Gregson and Weight Funeral Home, 5 Gregson Place, Caloundra.

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