Tina Turner dead at 1983, ex-ARL recalls decision to sign her

Ben Elias, who starred in the commercial alongside Tigers teammates Paul Sironen and Steve Roach, still remembers meeting Turner for the first time.

“It was the old Cosmopolitan nightclub in North Sydney,” Elias said. “She walked in like a rock star and left like a rock star.

“They had reservations about spending the money, but it turned out to be a fantastic success.”

Former ARL boss Ken Arhturson

“Our rugby league players think we’re amazing, but when she walks in the room, we’re not star bumps in the ass. It’s been great seeing her in real life. She’s lovely. She walks up, Kiss me on the cheek and I’m in heaven.

“Whenever you hear those songs, you immediately think of rugby league. I just went Tina: The Musical It was awesome and it brought back so many memories. “

The league’s power brokers wanted to make rugby league sexy and Andrew Ettingshausen was tapped to star in the ad. However, the Cronulla glamor boy was unable to film undercover in London, so Gavin Miller and Cliff Lyons, then of Leeds and Hull KR respectively, were parachuted onto the set.

“They wanted to use ET, but he was on vacation, so they found me and Gavin Miller,” Lyons said.


“We were just in the right place at the right time. I was flabbergasted when I saw her, Gavin was talking the whole time. She was actually speaking softly, not the impression she gave when she sang. Be with her It was a real pleasure to work and it’s something I won’t forget.”

The NRL is exploring ways to honor Turner at this week’s games, which could include playing her signature song and commercials at venues.

“She has made a huge positive contribution to our position,” NRL chief executive Andrew Abdo said on 2GB’s Ben Fordham programme. “That sport was iconic. It was the golden age of rugby union.

“She will always be remembered by our fans. This weekend we plan to celebrate that by playing her music, showcasing ad campaigns from over 30 years ago.”

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