The 'fake' Queensland fans doing NSW a disservice by supporting Maroons in State of Origin

NSW debutant Haumole Olakau'atu was one of them despite growing up in Guilford in western Sydney.

Six years ago I met a bloke by the name of Pete, who is either the dumbest or most courageous sports fan in Australia. Pete lived at 6 Caxton St, Brisbane - straight across the road from the famous Caxton Hotel and just up the road from Suncorp Stadium.

He was brought up in Sydney and moved north for work. But a change of address wasn't about to change his choice of beer - or footy teams.

"I am a proud NSW supporter,” he told me in 2018, standing outside No.6 dressed in NSW shorts and thongs while double pumping a couple of Tooheys Extra Drys. “But I won’t lie to you, brother, it’s been tough. I’ve copped plenty of sh*t over the years…plenty."

James Tedesco, Matt Burton, Johnathan Thurston and Reece Walsh ahead of State of Origin I.
James Tedesco and Matt Burton of NSW, alongside Johnathan Thurston and Reece Walsh of Queensland. Image: Getty

So why not move? You know, to somewhere less hostile, more hospitable? "Where am I going to go? The pub’s there, the ground’s there….this is my life," he countered. “You either love it or loathe it. And I love giving it to the toads."

NSW Blues players.
NSW Blues players walk from their hotel to training ahead of State of Origin I.

For all I know Pete may still be there, preparing to give the locals a gobful on Wednesday night after taking the six-step journey from his front door to the Caxton's public bar. I often think of him at State of Origin time and wonder why the Blues haven’t tracked him down to spruik on their behalf.


To send a strong message to those fans brought up in NSW but still backing Queensland. Here was a bloke living in the heart of Maroons territory but willing to risk life and limb to support his team.

A relocation didn’t mean he was going to turn his back on his roots, even when the Blues were copping annual poundings from the best Queensland teams we've seen. Why is it some who have carried a NSW postcode their entire lives don’t have the same passion for the Blues as Pete?

How can you live your life in one state and cheer for the sworn enemy? You don’t hear Queenslanders doing it – not publicly at least – but it appears they are everywhere in the premier state. They live among us.

Haumole Olakau'atu.
Haumole Olakau'atu said he was a Queensland fan just two years ago.

Incredibly, Blues debutant Haumole Olakau'atu was one of them despite growing up in Guilford - 908km from Brisbane. He even went as far as writing "been a Maroons since day dot" on Instagram after a Queensland win just two years ago.

"I was stupid. I was childish. I hope all the NSW fans can forgive me," he said last week. "I don’t know what I was thinking." Either do we. Born blue, bleed blue. Simple.