The UK Parliamentary Rugby League Group has paid tribute to the untimely passing of rugby league legend Athur “Artie”; Beetson by the tabling of a motion recognising his outstanding achievements in the sport and the legacy he left from his time as a player at Hull Kingston Rovers.
An Early Day Motion was tabled by Kingston Upon Hull East MP Karl Turner who said “Artie was a legend in the game. His loss will be felt by all in rugby league, including those fans of Hull KR who were fortunate to see him play. He was the first Indigenous Australian to captain his country in any sport and has won many accolades, including being named as one of Australia’s best 100 players and the Australian Order of Merit for his services to rugby league. It was a privilege for Hull KR to have him as a player and I know all in the club offer their thoughts to his family.”
Chairman of the Rugby League Group, Leeds North West MP Greg Mulholland added “there is a long tradition of sharing players between Australia and the UK. Artie was one of the greatest that have graced our shores and the loss of a player of his calibre and iconic status is a tragedy. I know all of us in the Parliamentary Rugby League Group were greatly saddened by his passing and offer our condolences to his family.”
Full copy of the Early Day Motion
That this House notes with sadness the death of Rugby League legend Arthur `Artie’ Beetson; remembers that `Artie’ played for Hull Kingston Rovers with great distinction and has left a legacy in East Hull that has not diminished over the years; further notes that he was named in the team of the century and is a member of the Rugby League Hall of Fame; recognises that he went on to be the first aboriginal to captain any Australian national sporting team; further recognises his inspiring effect on indigenous Australians, encouraging many to take up not only sport but education and employment opportunities; and expresses its deepest sympathy to his family.