Great memories of 80s State of Origin – when Mal Meninga was thin(ner)

My 10-year-old son and I are big fans of the State of Origin – so are my parents.

We all try to watch the games together.

My mum is a big fan of Mal Meninga – and once for Mother’s Day back in 80s, what she wanted was to go and meet “Big Mal”.


mum and Mal

Mal was always a big man. Before he was a successful Origin Coach – he was an amazing Origin player.


As you may know – “Big Mal” has gotten even bigger over the years.

Mal cookie


Anyway, my son and I like to tease my mother. Every time Queensland scores, we want a cookie…in Mal’s honour!

I wanted to show my son young, thinner Mal in action as a player.

My dad has the State of Origin box set and we watched an early 8Os game.

Origin series


What a buzz – seeing the old “retro” jerseys and the advertising on the side of the field.

old origin


And how they used sand to hold the ball for conversions.

And how Wally Lewis (and so many other players) had hair.

And how the players often had “dark paint” under their eyes. I think that was to reduce the glare of the lights in the night games. If you know other reasons – please share in the comments section below.


I had originally planned to watch some of the old games AFTER this year’s series had wrapped up – to help with OWDOrigin Withdrawal Symptoms!

If you are an Origin fan – you too will probably suffer OWD – after this series is over.

Sure, you can get absorbed in the usual NRL games. We all support The Broncos.

I also encourage checking out some of the older games. Maybe for you, it was during the 90s that you first got into Origin.


What are your favourite memories of the “old” State of Origin games? Please share in the comments section below


I know after this year’s series wraps up,  three generations of my family will gather to watch some of the old games – and eating cookies when Queensland scores! Hey – we do it in Mal’s honour!




SAA bgrd


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