SEA Eagles godfather Ken Arthurson has paid Jamie Lyon the ultimate compliment as the Manly co-captain prepares to line-up in his 200th NRL game against the Warriors in Perth on Saturday evening.
"I honestly believe Jamie Lyon is the best centre in Australia at the present time," the rugby league icon told the Manly Daily.
The boy from Wee Waa will achieve the special milestone in a first-grade career that started with Parramatta back in 2000.
Arthurson said Lyon was an outstanding player who can really do everything out on the field.
"He is terrific in attack and his defence is absolutely superb.
"Apart from that, the way he follows a ball when it has been kicked through and the amount of times he has success in doing that is just unbelievable."
Leading rugby league historian David Middleton, from League Information Services, said it was hard to argue with Arthurson's assessment of Lyon.
He said there will be people who don't like Lyon because of his decision to leave Parramatta and not to play representative games.
"But he has certainly won me back with the maturity he has shown and his leadership and his quality as a centre," Middleton said.
"He has really been a rock in that backline and has done so much to support the Brett Stewarts and Glenn Stewarts on the right side of the field."
Over the years, Arthurson has been involved with the great centres who have worn the Sea Eagles jumper.
When Manly's best ever team was selected, the chosen centres were the rugby league Immortal Bob Fulton - whom Arko rates as the best player he has seen - and dual international Michael O'Connor.
Arthurson said while it was difficult to compare players from different eras, Lyon was in that category.
"He is certainly one of the best centres the club has ever had, there is no doubt about that," Arthurson said.
"And apart from the fact he is a terrific player he is an outstanding person, too."
While Lyon will be on the other side of the country for his 200th NRL game, that is probably the way the centre prefers it.
He is still a country boy at heart who prefers to stay out of the spotlight.