A king amongst men

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DVS Matt

Written by Myself and Nita - For LeagueUnlimited Forum 7's

A king amongst men. A rangy free running backrower has graced rugby league for the last 14 years. A prolific try scorer and classical defender, Steven "Beaver" Menzies chalks up his 300th game of rugby league this weekend as Manly takes on the Penrith Panthers at CUA Stadium.

Although he would be seen as more than your average rugby league player, he would not be considered to be of the class of the Wally Lewis’ or Brad Fittler’s of the modern era.

Beaver has had many memorable moments in his illustrious career which include a grand final win, successful kangaroo tours and of course donning the light blue and playing (and winning) the toughest game of all, State of Origin. These accomplishments are only matched by a handful of other rugby league greats. But Beaver can hold his head high and be proud of his achievements for such greater, and more meaningful reasons as well. What makes this effort all the more memorable is that the Beaver has played ALL his professional football out of the hallowed turf of Brookvale Oval as well as being a local junior, having lived on Sydney’s Northern Beaches his whole life. Beaver’s maroon and white blood runs even deeper, with his grandfather Mackie Campbell playing in Manly’s first ever first grade side in 1947. Unfortunately, Mackie passed away earlier this year, but it seems a great tribute and so fitting that in Manly’s 60th year his beloved grandson play his 300th game, and also confirming his life-long loyalty to the Manly Warringah Sea Eagles.

By the end of Beaver’s newly signed contract with Manly, he should pass such greats of similar loyalty such as Luke Ricketson (301 games) Andrew Ettingshausen (322 games) and a very strong chance to overtake other legends of our game such as Manly icon Cliffy Lyons (332 games) and Manly’s nemesis Terry Lamb (349 games) towards as many as 370 games. Playing such an amount of games in itself is remarkable – but to play all of those for the one club which one grew up with, will be a mark that will be remembered for a long time to come.

Beaver made his first grade debut off the bench in 1993. His try scoring ability became immediately evident in his first full season in top grade in 1994. Running off the majestic Cliff Lyons he scored 16 tries, the most by a forward in a single season for the club. He played his 200th first grade game for the club in round 4, 2002 against the Roosters and later that season broke the club try scoring record of 127 previously held by Bob Fulton. In the 2004 season he added his second record by breaking Frank Burge's long standing record of 146 tries scored by a forward.

In an era increasingly focused on money, and team opportunity, Steve Menzies has shown loyalty that is becoming less and less prevalent in today’s game. Menzies took over the captaincy of the troubled Manly run Northern Eagles at the beginning of the 2002 season. He had earlier turned down a very lucrative contract at Parramatta, whereby he could have been one of the highest paid forwards in the game. However, Menzies stayed true (for reportedly a great deal less money) and his leadership in a year which most experts expected the team to win the "wooden spoon" was inspirational. In close important matches it always seems to be Beaver who would save the game with a desperate covering tackle or a crucial try.

Although he doesn’t have the offensive flash and pizzazz typical of other greats that played in the more dynamic halves positions, it is this loyalty that will be so memorable to fans. Beaver turned around this adversity and won the 2002 Dally M Lock of the year award and was a nomination for captain of the year.

Even though he has since stood down from his captaincy, it gave Menzies the breathing space to re-discover the blistering form positioned in the second row – his position of choice during Manly’s golden times of the mid 1990’s.

Beaver will go down as a great player and possibly the most loyal player ever to play rugby league. It would only be fitting for the Beaver to leave the game as he entered, in a blaze of style and glory. Whether he and his manly team mates can achieve that, only time will tell.


:clap: :clap: :clap: :clap:

Good work Matt and Nita!!

You guys should forward that on to the club or something... i really hope beaver knows how much he means to us fans!!

I am priviledge to have seen such a person in my life.. i don't know the guy personally but what he has done over his career really touches the fans... i hope he eclipses all the records that are within his reach because he deserves everything in the world!!

Good on ya beaver.. i am going to enjoy the rest of this year and the next 2 years, while i sit back with maybe a beer or 2 and watch the great man in action.

Just thinking about the day he says goodbye makes me choked up... gonna spend the next 2 and half years working on controlling myself that day haha

Well Done you two and well done steve menzies

Canteen Worker

First Grader
Great article Matt and Nita. Beats the other stuff with Mata.

Hope you do well in the Forum 7s too and all hail to the great man!!!

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