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Wally Lewis - Sports Heroes - Wally Lewis is a highly praised household name due ...

Travels From Queensland

Wally Lewis

Wally Lewis is a highly praised household name due to his remarkable career with the State of Origin and Queensland Rugby League.

W​​ally Lewis is highly praised within the Rugby League, with multiple commentators describing him as one of the most brilliant players and captains ever. Wally won 19 of the 30 matches he played as captain of the Maroons over 11 years (1981-1991), and was awarded man-of-the match 8 times. He later changed to coaching the Queensland Origin team from 1992 to 1994, where he turned a 15-0 deficit into a 22-15 win for the Maroons. His tough and uncompromising persona on the field saw him winning the Best Player in the World Award, and election to the Sport Australia Hall of Fame (1987); later elevating to Legend of Australian Sport (2016). In 1987 Wally was honored as a Member of the Order of Australia (AM) for his service to rugby league football.

Wally is a highly sought-out MC and motivational speaker, with a captivating story to tell that inspires and fascinates his audiences. A household name with the ability to be both professional and personable, humorous and hard-working; Wally is a crowd favourite.

Wally was unchallenged as Australian captain for 6 years (1984-1989), and went on to become a legend virtually overnight. He earned celebrated nicknames such as "The King", "The Emperor of Lang Park" and "The High Priest of the Spectacular.".

His first grade league debut as an 18 year-old kicked off with Valleys in 1978, when he came on from the bench at half-time and scored three tries. He remained playing lock-forward throughout the season as Valley’s made the grand final, and he was presented with the Brisbane Colt of the Year Award. He went on to make 301 first grade appearances with five clubs - Valleys (135), Wynnum-Manly (76), Wakefield Trinity (10), Broncos (46) and Seagulls (34).  In 1986 Wally became the second Queenslander to captain a Kangaroo Touring side to Great Britain and France, and was the second captain to lead the Kangaroos on an undefeated Ashes Tour. In a career spanning 15 years, Wally never once played reserve grade. He retired from the Origin arena at the end of the 1990 series, having missed only two matches, both due to injury, displaying his unwavering dedication to the sport. Since retiring, a bronze statue was made in Wally’s honour at Lang Park, and the Queensland player of the series now wins the ‘Wally Lewis Medal’.

At the 2002 Dally M Awards, Wally was one of six players inducted into the inaugural members of the Australian Rugby League Hall of Fame. He took his place alongside other "immortals" of the game, such as Clive Churchill, Reg Gasnier, Johnny Raper, Bobby Fulton and Graeme Langlands.

Wally can now be seen as a News/Sports presenter at the Nine Network (QLD), and as a sports anchor at primetime with the 6 O'clock Nine News. He has been regular Rugby League announcer with Fox, and a panel member on FOX Sports NRL Rugby League Show.

Wally’s biography, Out of the Shadows, released in 2009, details his life after retiring from the rugby league. He speaks on his battle with depression and debilitating seizures, to his hard-fought recovery and triumphant return to the nation′s TV screens. He describes success as “a combination of hard work, dedication, plus a little luck.". Wally’s authenticity and abundance of direct first-hand experience allows him to captivate and truly inspire his audience.

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