Mr Wally Lewis AM
A decade after his retirement, an autobiography about WALLY LEWIS was released with the title Forever The King. Three words said it all. There have been many other league stars dubbed champions and freaks since he left the stage but The King is still The King.
No Queenslander who lived through the rugged decades of the 1960s and ‘70s when our local rugby league sides struggled to compete with NSW will ever forget the impact Lewis had in turning around Queensland’s fortunes in the 1980s when State of Origin allowed local selectors to reclaim their prized exports.
It says everything about his Origin dominance that Lewis won a staggering eight man of the match awards and the next closest was four, including Queenslanders Darren Lockyer and Allan Langer.
Lewis gave Origin football many of its most memorable moments and his angry face-off with NSW enforcer Mark Geyer during the 1991 series remains one of the most enduring images of Origin history. Lewis first captained the Queensland side at 21, recognition of his peerless playmaking skills. He led Queensland in 30 of his 31 Origin games and was one of six inaugural members of the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame.
Lewis was honoured with a statue at the entrance to Suncorp Stadium and the inscription lauds him as arguably the greatest player of all time.