Beetson family members, Roosters legends and club officials alike congregated to Easts Leagues on Monday to celebrate the launch of Artie's Sports Bar, with plenty of camaraderie and reminiscing had throughout the day.
With memorabilia galore and a gallery of iconic black and white photos of the late great Arthur Beetson adorning the walls, guests were in awe of the brand new sports bar, which will be officially opened on Friday 26th March to kick-off the match between Sydney Roosters and South Sydney Rabbitohs.
Representing the Beetson family, sons Christian and Mark were in attendance at the new establishment and expressed their gratitude and appreciation in seeing their father immortalised in Roosters heartland.
"There's a lot of emotions - you feel pride and honour that Easts and the Roosters have done this for dad and the family," Christian said.
"I was blown away when I first walked in, it's exceeded all expectations. It's outstanding and to see the effort and trouble everyone has gone to.
"We probably forget about the impact he had on people - not just on football but on people in general - and the impact he has had here is unbelievable. There's a bit of sadness because he's not here anymore, but a lot of pride and happiness to be able to look at his achievements.
To see his former teammates travel to celebrate this with us, it's very touching."
With his father renowned as an entertainer both on and off the field, Mark believes that the new sports bar is the perfect place to celebrate the Roosters icon.
"I'm in awe," he said.
"It makes me realise how much of an impression he made on people and how iconic he was - not only as a Rugby League player but as a humanitarian as well.
"He could tell a good yarn, he's got some of the best stories I've ever heard. He had a good sense of humour and was a bit of a larrikin who was always in good spirits. It makes you realise what a loss he was.
"Dad loved the whole bar atmosphere. He was a publican for most of his life, he loved nothing more than having a beer, a yarn, to entertain and be social - and on the side, he liked to play football!
"Having a game day here, I can't think of anything better, especially this week against the Rabbitohs. There's nothing better than seeing the Roosters get a win.
"Everything that's been done for today, the efforts behind the scenes, it brings a tear to the eye."
Dad loved the whole bar atmosphere. He was a publican for most of his life, he loved nothing more than having a beer, a yarn, to entertain and be social - and on the side, he liked to play football!Mark Beetson
Club Legends Russell Fairfax and Ian Schubert shared their thoughts towards the new venue and praised their former teammate while reminiscing on his ability and companionship both on and off the field.
“Arthur Beetson to me is one of those people I’ll never forget, and I hope that people from both the Roosters and in Rugby League remember him for a long time," Fairfax said.
“He was one of the great players, he could do things with three or four people hanging off him. He was the front rower, I was the fullback and normally they don’t hang around each other but we were great mates.
“He was one of the nicest people and best footballers I’ve ever been involved with.
Hall Of Fame | Arthur Beetson
“He was my all-time favourite player to play with," Schubert added.
"There were a bunch of good ones with John Brass, Mark Harris, Russell Fairfax and Kevin Stevens, but he was just a player who could do anything on the field.
“He had a burst of speed, he had strength that no one could handle and a really good sense with the ball. He could do it all.
“He was the kind of guy when he took over as coach, it didn’t change him much. Clearly, he was more concise with how he looked after his players, but he didn’t change his relationship with them.
“He was good to play with and you knew if someone was picking on you, he’d be there to help you out."
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