King Wally: Just say you love him or start packing
As we head remember this country's legends, our friends at Bundaberg Rum give you the chance to put forward your memories of our sporting greats. Hit us up in the comments field below and tell us your favourite Wally Lewis story.
Meanwhile you can nominate your own local sporting legend and win prizes for yourself and them. More info here.
Wally Lewis is the king of Queensland and the king of State of Origin. Period.
Every Queenslander loves Wally. He can do no wrong north of the Tweed. He could even read the nightly Channel 9 sports report in a NSW Blues jumper and we would still forgive him.
And for those who move to Queensland, here's a tip. Just say you love him or you'll never be accepted as a Queenslander. In fact, you might as well leave.
Wally is a true legend of sport. One of only eight Immortals of the great game of rugby league. He was arguably the greatest five-eighth of all time.
The king, who even looked old in his early days, ruled rugby league when men were really men.
He played in the first State of Origin match and then went on to captain the Maroons to dominance in the tough early Origin years.
He led Queensland to many famous victories at the old Lang Park, well before there were real facilities, and back in the day when NSW players would cop Queenslanders' righteous abuse and be okay with it.
And of course who could forget when he famously stood up to NSW Blue Mark Geyer. That was tops. Legendary.
He also captained Australia and was the first skipper of NRL powerhouse the Brisbane Broncos, scoring so many tries and man of the match awards along the way at all levels we've lost count.
Things you probably didn't know about the king's Origin days:
- Wally actually made more individual errors than other player in Origin history - 63.
- He was responsible for the record number of beer cans throw by fans onto a footy field - 60 - after he was sin-binned at Lang Park in Origin Two back in 1988.
- Off field, he was the team prankster and unofficial driver of the Maroons bus during Origin time despite the disapproval of then coach Wayne Bennett.
Now, even after more than 20 years out of the game, the Wally Lewis legend lives on.
The king was the first to get a statue outside Suncorp Stadium, and to this day, the bronze figure of Wally holding up the Origin shield is surely the centrepiece of more selfies than any other person or thing in Queensland.
Just to add to his star status, he is now possibly the best special comments rugby league broadcaster on TV.
So in true Aussie spirit, the king's exploits on the sporting field back when many of us can't remember them makes him a legend for life.
Cheers to King Wally Lewis.