Beetson's legacy recognised by Dolphins, Roosters

Brad Beetson, son of the late and great Arthur Beetson, has a nice way of explaining how his father might welcome the season-opening NRL showdown between the Dolphins and Sydney Roosters.

"I am sure dad will be looking down, probably playing cards with Tommy (Raudonikis), and he will be pretty chuffed to see this come to fruition," he said ahead of Sunday's round-one clash.

The rugby league trinity of the Dolphins, Roosters and Arthur Beetson will all be celebrated at Suncorp Stadium.

The player of the match will be awarded the Artie Legacy Medal, to honour the contribution Beetson senior made to both clubs throughout his adult life.

Arthur Beetson captained both clubs, won senior competitions with both clubs - the Dolphins (1965), the Roosters (1974, 1975) - coached both clubs, and also operated as recruitment manager in an official and unofficial capacity.

He was a conduit for young footballers to make their top-grade debuts, and sent many from the Dolphins to the Roosters.

"There was a massive connection over the years from Redcliffe to the Roosters," Brad Beetson said.

"(Dolphins) chairman Bob Jones went down (in 1976) and dad was catering manager at the time, and playing, and Jonesy used to sneak pies up to him in the office because he got banned from the restaurant for putting on too much weight.

"There were something like 140 players that went from the Dolphins to the Roosters over the years, an astronomical amount."

Arthur Beetson wrote in his autobiography that it was his dream to see the two clubs play each other at the top level.

"It is a great honour for the family and a continuation of dad's legacy," Brad Beetson said of Sunday's occasion, played at a venue where his father had great success in State of Origin in 1980 as the inaugural Maroons captain, and later as coach.

Brad Beetson, who grew up in the Queensland town of Redcliffe and went to school there, watched his father play for the Dolphins and worked at the hotel he ran in the early 1980s.

He said he hoped Sunday's game was played with his dad's spirit front of mind.

"There wouldn't be many left on the field," he grinned, in reference to his father's famously physical approach.

"Dad played it tough and fair. When he came off the ground everything was left on the ground. Then have a beer and enjoy everyone's company.

"(The Dolphins) will be competitive. They say they haven't got a marquee signing but when you've got Wayne Bennett as a coach..."

Brad said he was still "in awe" of Arthur's legacy, more than 11 years since his father's death at the age of 66.

"Dad had a larger-than-life presence," he said.

"What he achieved as a proud Queenslander, Australian and Indigenous man ... he was a leader for all our people and rugby league as well."

Brad and two of his three brothers - Kristian and Mark - will be among 30 members of the Beetson family at Sunday's game.