Public to farewell Artie Beetson

A PUBLIC memorial service will be held for rugby league legend Arthur Beetson at Suncorp Stadium on Sunday, December 18 at noon.

Premier Anna Bligh made the announcement yesterday with Beetson's eldest son Brad, and said the service would provide Queenslanders an opportunity to say goodbye to Big Artie.

Beetson, who played 28 Tests for Australia and skippered Queensland in the first State of Origin match in 1980, died aged 66 last Thursday after suffering a heart attack on the Gold Coast.

"Arthur Beetson was an iconic Queenslander," Ms Bligh said.

"Not only was Big Artie a league legend, he was a pioneer for indigenous athletes and his loss has been felt across the country.

"We are very pleased the Beetson family accepted our offer of a public memorial - there are many people that want to say an appropriate goodbye to this great man, and this will be their opportunity."

Brad Beetson spoke on behalf of the Beetson family.

"The family would like to thank everybody for their support and well wishes at this difficult time," he said.

"We appreciate everyone's willingness to be involved and participate in the remembrance of our beloved father, brother, grandfather, uncle and friend.

"The family will be conducting a private funeral service for family and close friends within the next week, and we would ask that people and the media respect the family's privacy.

"Once again the family would like to thank everyone for their support, condolences and contributions."

More information on the public memorial service will be released in coming days.

The Premier also announced the league legend would be immortalised with a bronze statue at Suncorp Stadium.



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