Former Hull KR star Artie Beetson dies of heart attack

Artie Beetson
Beetson captained Australia as a player

Former Hull Kingston Rovers forward Arthur 'Artie' Beetson has died suddenly at the age of 66.

He was cycling near his home on Australia's Gold Coast in Queensland when he suffered a heart attack.

Hull KR chairman Neil Hudgell said: "Although he only played with us for a short time, he left a legacy that still endures today."

Beetson was in his 12th game for Rovers in 1968 when he suffered a serious leg break in a derby with Hull FC.

Hudgell added: "Our thoughts are with his family, and with our president, Colin Hutton, and his wife, Marjorie, who were very close to Arthur."

Beetson had recently been in Hull while he was in England to watch the Four Nations series last month.

His fame grew in Australia after he became the first indigenous Australian to captain his country in any sport and he was inducted into Australia Rugby League's Hall of Fame in 2003.

Hutton told BBC Radio Humberside: "I am absolutely stunned, it really was a shock.

"We became really good friends and he lived with us [during his 12-game stint in Hull]. He was an absolute phenomenon.

"Talk to any of the older Rovers fans about who's the best ball-handling forward they've ever seen and they'll say Artie Beetson."

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