Lang on League: Catching up with Robbie Beckett

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Where are they now? Robbie Beckett

The man nicknamed ‘Boom Boom’ during his playing days with the Panthers between 1994-2001, scored 66 tries in 146 games and always had speed to burn on the footy field.

Now 20 years retired from rugby league, Beckett lives in Tumut, a small town of 6700 people near the Snowy Mountains and works at Visy Pulp & Paper.

Unlike the speed he was known for on the field, Beckett is enjoying a slower pace of life with his wife Tanya.

Robbie Beckett playing for Penrith in 1999.

“I moved to Tumut in 2004 and married a local girl,” Beckett told me recently.

“We now have two beautiful girls, Ella and Mia.”

Former Panthers winger Robbie Beckett with his two daughters.

When asked what he remembered most about his rugby league days, Beckett replied: “Just all the good mates I made over the years, plus playing with superstars like Brad Fittler, Greg Alexander, Ryan Girdler, Rhys Wesser and Craig Gower. But the toughest player I ever knew was Morvin Edwards.”

Beckett said he would like to see the Panthers make it a three-peat in 2023 and believes Ivan Cleary and his troops can do it.

As for his well-known speed, it seems he has passed it on to his daughter Mia, who regularly blitzes the opposition at running carnivals she takes part in.

When asked what was ahead for him, well it was all about his two children.

“The girls have got Rep BBall and Ladies Tag coming up. I coach the Under 14’s League Tag for Tumut so… busy times ahead,” Beckett smiled.

It’s great to hear Beckett is doing so well in retirement.

And another thing…

I’d like to join the long list of people who have condemned the 15 year-old supporter who allegedly yelled racial obscenities at Latrell Mitchell last Thursday at BlueBet Stadium.

Now I’m all for heckling an opposition player but there are two golden rules to follow if you’re going to do that. One, don’t bring a player’s family into it and two, do not ever make it about their nationality or the colour of their skin.

Yelling out ‘Lolly legs’ when a player is about to take a kick at goal or booing whenever they touch the ball is one thing. Racist comments are another altogether.

I am drawn to this quote by Giovannie de Sadeleer: “The true colour of one person is not determined by skin, but by their behaviour in it.”

By not jumping the fence and fighting back with his fists, Latrell Mitchell showed more class than the boy who allegedly made the racist comments did… or perhaps ever will.

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