Steve Renouf aka, the Pearl, is a well-known Aboriginal rugby league player who played for the Brisbane Broncos, Queensland and Australia in the late 80s and 90s.
When nine-year-old Steve Renouf started kicking a footy across the fields of his small Central Queensland town, he never imagined that he would one day score the winning try in a World Cup match. He never imagined that he would develop type 1 diabetes. And it never crossed his mind that he would rise to the challenge of caring for three children with diabetes.
Steve was 17 years old when he signed with the Brisbane Broncos in 1987. The young footballer showed much talent, and his future looked promising. However, at age 23, he suddenly felt seriously ill. When the doctor told him he had type 1 diabetes, Steve was actually relieved.
Having type 1 diabetes for most of his professional football career, Steve not only lived with diabetes - he excelled with it. He went on to create his legend which put him in the top 10 tryscorers of all time in the National Rugby League premiership competition. He also made the Queensland State of Origin team in 1991 before progressing to the Australian side in 1992, a year that saw him make the winning try in the World Cup. He signed with English team Wigan in 1999 and was selected in both its 2000-2001 dream teams before he retired in 2002.
Following his return to Australia he continued playing football for Easts in the Queensland Cup alongside former Broncos teammate Darren Smith. During the 2007 season at the Broncos' 20-year anniversary celebration, the club announced a list of the 20 best players to play for them to date which included Renouf. In August, 2008, Renouf was named at centre in the Indigenous Team of the Century.
His biography, "The Pearl", is a moving story of Steve, his family, and his Aboriginal identity. The story is written by sports journalist and broadcaster, John Harms and the book recounts Renouf's football career from his first junior game to his last A-grade match in the Queensland Cup competition.
Steve was a very genuine, down-to-earth guy, he was extremely friendly and was more than happy to have his photo taken with people at our event and also happy to have a chat to anyone who wanted to ask him some questions. He did a fantastic job emceeing our event and mingling with the crowd. It was a very successful event and Steve contributed to this success.
Burdekin Shire Council
Friendly, professional, kind, interested, east to get along with.
Tambo Health Forum
Steve started with a good introduction and entertained the audience throughout the whole presentation. He came across very genuine and the life stories he told were very relevant in this day and age. He dressed very smartly and had a long line of people wanting a photo with him afterwards.