WHEN the Queensland team make their way into Suncorp Stadium tonight for the 100th State of Origin game, they will be doing so with a whole new sense of purpose.
With the number 11 jersey retired in honour of "Big Artie" Beetson, the pride and determination of the team is sure to be felt surging through the stadium.
The hits may be a little harder and the passes a little sharper as they pay tribute to the man who captained the maroons to their very first victory.
Beginning his career in the centres for the Roma Cities before being picked up by Redcliffe in 1964, it became apparent early on that Beetson was destined for great things.
Taking out the player of the year award in his maiden season at Redcliffe, it wasn't long before the likes of the Balmain Tigers came knocking.
Winning the grand final in 1966 for the Tigers and earning himself a green and gold jersey that same year, Beetson began to cement himself as a force to be reckoned within the rugby league arena.
Beetson went on to notch up 222 first grade games throughout his extensive rugby league career which saw him play for various other clubs such as Hull Kingston Rovers, Eastern Suburbs and the Parramatta Eels.
However, it was what Beetson achieved in the inaugural State of Origin game in 1980 that has seen him dubbed the 'Godfather of Origin'.
Captaining the Maroons to a 20-10 victory, Beetson put on a performance that would unknowingly inspire rugby league players for generations to come.
Arthur Beetson's name is now deeply etched into Origin folk lore and when Queensland take to the main stage tonight for what is sure to be a tough contest, they will channel the strength and determination of one of the greatest and most inspirational players the sport of rugby league has ever seen.