Formidable on the field yet touted as ‘one of the nicest blokes you’d meet’ off it, Dolphin #91 Peter Leis left behind an incredible legacy which will be honoured by the Dolphins for generations to come.
Hailing from Dayboro, Peter made his first grade debut for Redcliffe against Souths in July 1966. He went on to play 261 first grade games between 1966 and 1981 and is the all time leading try scorer in first grade with 129 tries to his name. Peter represented Queensland several times including in 1975, when he scored a crucial try for Queensland in what was to be the last victory over New South Wales before the advent of State of Origin in 1980.
The Dolphins annual Player of the Year Award was named after Peter in 2000 and Peter and his wife Nerida attended the Awards evening every year to present the Peter Leis Medal. Unfortunately due to health Peter was unable to attend in 2018 however his son Trent, also a former Dolphin and NRL player, attended on Peter’s behalf. Of Peter’s passion for Redcliffe, Nerida said “Peter lived for Redcliffe footy, loved every minute of being part of playing the game and the mateship. He was so honoured to have the medal named after him and looked forward to going to the games and watching each player. He wanted to know how each player performed and wanted the players to know he cared about the team and result for the season.”
Chairman Bob Jones said Peter was regarded by many, including the late Tosser Turner, to be the best player to ever play for Redcliffe. “Peter is one of our favourite sons and will never be forgotten,” he said. Peter’s status as one of the greats was confirmed in 2008 when he was named at Centre in the “Greatest Dolphins Ever” line up.
Tributes flooded in from the rugby league community, including from fans who considered Peter their childhood hero. “I am and have always been Valleys to the bone but Pete was always my hero! I have never met such a special person that not only inspired people when he was on the footy field but also off it,” fan Scott Hunter said.
Peter passed away peacefully on Friday 12th July at home following a lengthy illness surrounded by family.