The ‘mythical’ Maroons jumper, the magical elixir, and Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin’s catheter
In the history books devoted to the glory reaped by Queenslanders in the crucible of State of Origin, few pages will be as grandly gilded as those dedicated to flame-haired lock Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin.
Fatty racked up 22 Origin appearances as a player, captaining the side on two occasions and becoming only the third player to lead the Maroons after Wally Lewis and Arthur Beetson.
After hanging up the boots, Fatty would be called upon to coach the 1995 Queensland side, a team who had lost the previous three consecutive series. The odds were stacked against him, Gus Gould was standing in his way, but the winds of change were blowing and Fatty’s Maroons were unfurling the spinnaker.
Queensland would win the 1995 series in a whitewash, a fairytale finish for an inexperienced coach under a mystical Maroon spell.
“The Queensland jumper, it’s a bit weird but I believe it’s got mythical, magical powers to make an individual go to the ends of the Earth and beyond, to commit to that jumper, the teammates, the people that you’re playing for, to give as much as you possibly can,” Fatty tells David Morrow and Mat Thompson on Macquarie Sports Radio.
“I wasn’t the best player in the world but when I had that jumper on, I thought I was,
“That’s the attitude I took out in every Origin game I played, my life depends on this and I’m not going to stop, I’m not going to stop running, I’m not going to stop tackling, and even if I’m standing on my tryline and I can’t raise a spit, I’m bleeding, I’m hurting, I’m bruising – I don’t care,
“You come up off the line no matter how wounded you are and just keep giving, and giving, and giving.”
If the Queensland jumper has mythical powers, the same must be said for their refreshment of choice. Which, it turns out, is a magical elixir, a cross-marked can containing a potion with mysterious healing properties.
“Paul McCabe got hurt, he was sick in 1983 when I was rooming with him,” Fatty begins.
“It’s funny because we had a doctor, and he came in and do you know what he prescribed on the day?
“He said ‘here, have two XXXX”
Click PLAY to hear the full conversation with Paul ‘Fatty’ Vautin, including a must-listen account of why it’s best to avoid kidney stones: