25 hours ago - 1 Likes
Andrew Gee Bids The Game Farewell
It's fitting Andrew Gee's farewell to Brisbane fans on Friday night puts him equal with "Alfie" Langer in first grade games for the Broncos.
It will be his 265th first grade appearance -- the same number Langer chalked up before hanging up his boots last season.
Teammates in many great victories for Brisbane and Queensland during the 90s, Langer was the scheming little general, Gee the enforcer, giving as good as he got from some of league's true hard men.
They went to England together in 2000 to play for Warrington but returned in 2002 to help Queensland retain the Origin series.
They saddled up again for the Broncos last season before Langer finally called it a day.
Not big on words, Langer was big in his praise for Gee, a Beaudesert discovery who overcame a potential career-ending foot injury early in his career to play 17 games for Queensland.
"There was nothing flash about Gee Gee," Langer told League Correspondent.
"He was just a real tough, hard man who got the job done and who was respected by his opponents."
When Gee came back from England the first person he contacted was Broncos coach Wayne Bennett.
"I just loved the place so much," said Gee, who at 33 went around in this year's Origin series 13 years after playing his first game for Queensland in 1990.
"I was prepared to play for nothing.
"Wayne told me I could end up in the Queensland Cup and I said I'd take that risk."
According to Langer, Gee typifies the Broncos spirit and only came home because he missed the family.
"I was the same," said Langer.
"If I could, I would have played on forever and I'm sure Gee Gee feels the same.
"It's that kind of club, you never want to leave."
When Gee jogs onto Suncorp Stadium for the last time on Friday night, he'll be one of five players hoping to leave next month on a premiership high.
Ben Ikin (43 games) has finally given into a deteriorating knee while injury-hitPhil Lee is another heading into premature retirement with 92 first grade games.
Luckless halfback Scott Prince joins the Tigers next year after major leg injuries restricted him to just 27 games for Brisbane after being recruited from Townsville in 2001 as Langer's likely replacement.
The other player leaving is Kiwi Test hooker Richard Swain, off to England with 20 games up for the club.
All up Gee has played 309 games, including 31 reserve grade matches, -- the most by any player in the club's history.
Former winger Michael Hancock holds the record of 279 first grade games followed by Langer (265) and Gee (264).
While Gee didn't play first grade for Brisbane until 1989, he's a legitimate Bronco original having attended the club's very first assembly at the Kooralbyn Valley resort in 1987.
Of the images of Gee -- and there have been many over 16 seasons -- one that stands out is of him having a badly dislocated finger put back and taped before charging fearlessly back into the New South Wales forwards in an Origin game.