''King'' Wally Lewis came to embody State of Origin football.
A young lock forward in the inaugural Origin game in 1980, he made 30 appearances as five-eighth and captain between 1981 and 1991, winning eight man-of-the match awards.
Lewis made his Test debut in 1981, against France, the only Queensland-based player in the side.
He lost the starting five-eighth job to Brett Kenny on the 1982 Kangaroo tour, but regained the No. 6 jumper in 1983 and was unchallenged as Australian captain from 1984 to 1989.
Lewis was tough, brave and passionate, with a magnificent kicking game and a brilliant pass. In the second Test at Wigan in 1982 he came on in the second half and threw a 25–metre bullet that set up a try for Mal Meninga.
His kicking display on a muddy SCG in game two of the 1984 Origin series was phenomenal, as he kept turning the Blues around to help seal the series.
At the Sydney Football Stadium in 1989, with Queensland shattered by injury, he inspired one of the most courageous victories seen in modern rugby league.
Lewis dominated Brisbane club football in the '80s, with Valleys and then Wynnum-Manly. He was a good but rarely great player with the Brisbane Broncos and Gold Coast Seagulls, but his legendary status was already sealed.
Following his retirement, a bronze statue was erected at Lang Park, and in 1999 he was named an ''Immortal''.
Clubs: Brisbane Valleys 1978–83; Wakefield Trinity 1983–84; Wynnum-Manly 1984–87; Brisbane Broncos 1988–90; Gold Coast 1991–92.
Club landmarks: Won Brisbane premierships with Valleys 1979, Wynnum 1984, 1986.
Games for Queensland: 38 (1979–91; includes 31 State of Origins 1980–91).
Tests for Australia: 33 (1981–91) — 23 as captain.
World Cup matches: One (1988 — as captain).
Representative landmarks: Kangaroo tours 1982, 1986 (captain); World Cup 1988 (captain); Captained Australian tours of New Zealand 1985, 1989; Inducted as an Immortal 1999.