Queensland rugby league mourned the passing of one of its greatest players in January, when legendary front-rower Duncan Hall passed away, aged 85.
Hall was the superstar of the game during the 1950s – a tough, powerful prop with all of the skills.
There was no better recognition of his talent than in the game’s Centenary year of 2008, when Hall was named as part of an all-Queensland front row in the rugby league Team of the Century, alongside Arthur Beetson and Noel Kelly.
A true icon of the game, Hall was also named in the Queensland Team of the Century, was a life member of the Queensland Rugby League, and will continue to be honoured for his services to the game with the Duncan Hall Medal presented to the man of the match in the Queensland Cup grand final.
After starting out in Rockhampton, Hall played with Valleys in Brisbane, Newtown in Toowoomba, Home Hill in north Queensland, and finally with Brisbane Wests.
He won Bulimba Cups, a Brisbane premiership with Wests, played for Queensland 24 times and played 21 Tests for Australia.
Maybe the statistic that best reflects his dominance on the football field is that every team he played for between 1944 and 1957 qualified for the finals. It was an amazing run of success.
In 1980, Hall was one of the team managers for the Queensland team in the inaugural State of Origin match.
His son, Duncan Hall Jr, said in an interview with the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin that his father was two men in one – a fearsome Test front-rower, and a loving, caring father.
“He was two different people to me. As a father he was a loving and caring person and then, when it came to rugby league, there was this legend,” Hall Jr said.
“That’s not just because he made the Team of the Century or the like but because so many people can vividly recall things he did in matches so many years ago.
“When I talk to people about him there are so many that can remember specific moments straight away, and it’s not as if they can look back at footage of him playing to remember.”
FOGS Executive Chairman Gene Miles said, despite playing in an era long before the blanket media coverage the game now enjoys, Hall’s exploits and legendary toughness on the field ensured his name would always be remembered as one of the greats of rugby league.
“It is always sad to see the passing of a legend of the game, and no one is more deserving of that title than Duncan Hall,” Gene said. “He was a genuine superstar of the game, and whose skill was so great he actually changed the way the game was played and coached.
“He was a terrifically proud and passionate Queenslander, and truly one of the men that the Queensland spirit is built on.
“We are certainly poorer for his passing, but there is a generation of football fans who will forever be grateful they got to see him play.
“He will be missed, but never forgotten.”