Dale Warne had nerves of steel to make the winning bid on a Queensland State of Origin jersey signed by all 12 captains at the Gympie Cooloola Rugby League Centenary of League dinner.
Dale Warne had nerves of steel to make the winning bid on a Queensland State of Origin jersey signed by all 12 captains at the Gympie Cooloola Rugby League Centenary of League dinner. Renee Pilcher

Warne takes home Origin jersey

GYMPIE sporting memorabilia collector Dale Warne has some impressive items in his possession.

His collection boasts names such as Harry Kewell, Kosta Tszyu, Shane Warne, the Brisbane Broncos, Ian Thorpe and Arthur Beetson – among others.

But winning the signed Queensland State of Origin jersey during an auction at the Gympie Cooloola Rugby League Centenary of League dinner last Friday has taken his collection to an entirely new level.

The Queensland jersey is framed and signed by all 12 captains since State of Origin’s inception.

Warne was pleased with his win following the bidding frenzy at the Gympie Civic Centre as the jersey went under the hammer.

“It’s one-of-a-kind,” he said. “It’s the biggest piece of memorabilia I have.”

A signed St George jersey had to be taken down to make way for the piece of Origin history in his lounge room, where it now takes pride of place.

Warne said he attended the dinner with one eye on the jersey but remained uncertain about bidding until the auction got under way.

“I was in two minds before the dinner but once the auction started, I got swept up a bit in the excitement,” he said.

“They had people bidding on phones as well as guests at the dinner, so it was crazy for a while.”

As the price was driven up for the jersey, Warne now believes upon reflection he got the piece of Origin memorabilia for a bargain.

“It’s good value when you consider it’s the only one,” he said.

Gympie Times


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