Wally Lewis pays tribute to Qld league boss Ross Livermore
THE greatest Maroon of them all, Wally Lewis, has hailed Ross Livermore as one of the cornerstones of Queensland's State of Origin success as the game's luminaries paid tribute to the former administrator, who died on Tuesday morning.
The sudden death of Livermore, who was managing director of the Queensland Rugby League for 31 years, has left his family, friends and the rugby league community shocked and saddened. He was 68.
After taking up the post of managing director in 1980, there was little that happened in the game in Queensland that didn't bear Livermore's fingerprints. But he left his most indelible mark on Origin, the fledgling interstate concept he helped shape that has become a goliath on the Australian sporting calendar.
Lewis, the wonderful Queensland five-eighth and now a respected media figure, said Livermore was one of the secrets behind Queensland's early success in Origin, giving players unyielding support as they took on the Blues.
"They used to mention the Queensland players names as being brave and impressive with their performances on the field. But he did just that when it came to the boardroom or demanding that Queensland be respected as a football team and a state in the Origin era," Lewis said.