Jim Paterson (right) with W Sullivan and John Kelly.
Jim Paterson (right) with W Sullivan and John Kelly.

Maroons mourn the death of an early great

QUEENSLAND rugby league fans are in mourning after the death of a champion of North Queensland footy.

A Townsville man who bled for his region and state, Jim "Pato" Paterson, wrote himself into rugby league folklore by  leading a North Queensland representative side to victory over a touring Great Britain side in 1966.

The backrower also captained both North Queensland and Queensland country throughout his 14-year career and notably featured in Clive Churchill's 1959 Maroons side that defeated NSW 3-1.

Paterson's hard running and uncompromising defence led to him being named in the touring Australian squad later that year, along with a host of other Queenslanders including Noel Kelly, Barry Muir, Elton Rasmussen, Dud Beattie and Gary Parcell.

Ian Walsh, Clive Churchill, Harry Wells, Jim Paterson and Barry Muir.
Ian Walsh, Clive Churchill, Harry Wells, Jim Paterson and Barry Muir.

Paterson retired in 1968 as North Queensland's most decorated representative player with 24 caps for Queensland and eight Tests for Australia.

Paterson in 2004.
Paterson in 2004.

He remained heavily involved with the sport as a selector for Townsville, North Queensland, Queensland Country, Queensland and Australia and was named in both 2008's "Queensland 100 Greats" as well as the North Queensland team of the century.

His funeral will be held in Townsville on Saturday morning.

News Corp Australia


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