Preston Campbell honoured by Titans
PRESTON Campbell's contribution to the Titans will live on in perpetuity after the Gold Coast named a stand at Cbus Super Stadium after their foundation signing.
Campbell's reaction to the honour says everything about why it was so fitting.
The unveiling of the stand - which bear the moniker the Preston Campbell Stand only when the Titans play at Robina - was a surprise to the great man, who had just finished playing an All Star clash against the Broncos All Stars in a match to raise awareness of indigenous health issues through Deadly Choices.
Campbell's was pleasantly shocked at the on-ground announcement and unveiling of banner on the eastern grandstand.
"I'm speechless. Rugby league's already done so much for me, so many people influenced my career and supported me along the way," he said.
"It's not something that you expect.
"I played for 14 years and I had a great time and this just tops it all off.
"Rugby league gave me so much and I'll spend the rest of my life trying to repay the faith it had in me."
Titans chief executive Graham Annesley said Campbell embodied everything the Titans were about.
"As a foundation player and the fact that he is so revered in the indigenous community and the general Gold Coast community, the fact that he's still a supporter of our club and gets involved with our club whenever he gets the opportunity," Annesley said when asked why Campbell was chosen.
"We just think it's a wonderful honour for him and for the club that we can utilise his name in honouring him."
Most would argue the game owes Campbell - at least on the Gold Coast.
The former Dally M medallist was the first signing made by the Titans - as much for his integrity and connections to fans and the community as his ability as a player.
The architect of the Indigenous All Stars concept, Campbell continues to give back to the community through the Preston Campbell Foundation which mentors young people.
But he remains eternally humble.
"I know there's that relationship," he said.
"Rugby league helped me grow as a person and I just want to show what rugby league did for me."
Campbell said he was thrilled to be able to have a lasting connection to the Titans and the Gold Coast through the naming of the stand.
"That's what is most important to me - people knowing I started on the Gold Coast," said Campbell, who started his NRL career with the Chargers in 1998.
"I may have gone away but I came back to the Gold Coast and I just love the club - the fact that it gave me my first chance and that I was able to finish up here and be successful.
"This is just a great honour - and that stand's going to be here forever now, so for me to be associated with the Gold Coast and the Titans, I'm very honoured."