Preston Campbell, the first player signed by the Gold Coast Titans two years before the Club played a game, has created history again after becoming the first Life Member of the Gold Coast Titans.
The ever-humble Campbell was taken by surprise at being awarded the honour, which was presented by Titans co-owner Darry Kelly at the Club’s annual awards night held at The Star at Broadbeach.
The awarding of a Life Membership is a significant moment for any organisation, but to be the very first person to receive this honour is a very rare and distinguished accolade.
There is no more deserving or fitting recipient of this historic moment in the history of the Gold Coast Titans than Preston Campbell.
Campbell is frequently referred to as the Titans’ “spiritual leader”, and is one of that rare breed in rugby league to prove himself a champion on both fronts.
Preston ultimately played 103 NRL games for the Titans, invariably among our best players in every one of those 103, before retiring in 2011 – completing the full circle in a career that had begun with the Gold Coast Chargers in 1998.
It capped a remarkable playing career that saw him win a premiership with Penrith in 2003, a Dally M Medal as the best player in the game – beating out Newcastle’s Andrew Johns – in 2001, and the Paul Broughton Medal as the Titans Player of the Year in 2008.
The only thing that surpassed his brilliance as a player was his commitment and selflessness off the field.
The same year he won the Paul Broughton Medal as the best player at the Titans, Preston was awarded the NRL’s Ken Stephen Medal for his outstanding contribution to his local community.
Preston’s dedication to his community set the example for other Titans to follow, and set this Club on the path to its current role as a loyal servant to the people of the Gold Coast and Northern Rivers region.
His dedication to his community continues with the excellent work he does through the Preston Campbell Foundation.
His legacy to the Titans is on-going, with his role as an official club ambassador, and in lending his name to our prestigious “Preston” award, which recognises the person in our organisation that personifies what it means to be a Titan.
Titans Executive Chairman Dennis Watt said Campbell personifies what it means to be a Titan, and as such was an obvious choice as the Club’s inaugural Life Member.
“As intrinsically entwined as Preston is to the Titans’ past, he is just as important to our Club’s future,” Watt said.
“Preston exemplifies everything that we want the people in our organisation to be. He will be the template that every new Titan must measure up to.
“Moving forward, every player asked to become a Titan must exhibit Preston’s qualities of toughness, resilience, pride, courage and a willingness to give everything they have – on and off the field.
“He is the benchmark against which everybody that calls themselves a Titan will be judged.”