Club History Timeline
In its formative years, while the Club's win/loss record remained less than overwhelming, a fearful reputation was simultaneously being forged by the blue and reds, a reputation which the Club has carried as a badge of honour ever since.
As time has elapsed, success on the field has become more frequent. At all times however, the standards set in those formative years have applied. Names like Sargent, McCormack, Harragon, and Butterfield have become synonymous with what it means to play in the red and blue. The tradition has been faithfully perpetuated through the likes of Johns, Buderus and Gidley.
A play-off for fifth spot in 1990 was the first time many in the rugby league world took our Club seriously. Two years later semifinal football was a reality. A narrow one point loss in a preliminary semi in 1992 cost the team a chance at glory but confirmed its status as a team with an abundance of character. A semifinal appearance in 1995 was an early indicator of what was to come in the watershed year of 1997.
That season probably went a long way to describing what being a Newcastle Knight had become. The team was made up of around 70% local talent. Of the rest, most had adopted the town and Club of Newcastle as their home and played accordingly. It proved a valuable lesson.
The 1997 Optus Cup title was followed up with the unforgettable 2001 Telstra Premiership victory. Two premierships in the first fourteen years of the Club's existence creating an enviable record, and cementing the Club's hard-won reputation as consistently one of the best in the League.
- Team formed under the name Newcastle Knights, so named as Knights are men of steel, and Newcastle was a steel town
- Entered the competition with a squad of young players building foundations for the future of the Knights
- Sam Stewart first Knights Captain, Allan McMahon first grade coach
- Sam Stewart and Adrian Shelford played for New Zealand and Rest of the World
- Newcastle fans supported their new team with home games averaging 21,000 with a huge 30,000 fans for the Broncos game
- Tony Butterfield is named Knights Player of the Year
- Played 22, won 5, lost 16, drawn 1, points for 270, points against 460, finished 14th (of 16)
- Signed five class players to boost the ranks including Michael Hagan and Mark Sargent
- We're one of the best defensive sides in the competition and in contention for semifinals berth all season
- President's Cup side was the first Knights team to make the semifinals
- Michael Hagan was selected for Queensland State of Origin side
- Michael Hagan is named Player of the Year
- Played 22, wins 11, Losses 11, points for 281, points against 281, finished 7th (of 16)
- Mark Sargent was selected for NSW State of Origin and was the first Newcastle player to represent Australia, touring England and France
- There were six Knights in the Australian train on squad
- Competition's equal top try scorer was Ashley Gordon with 15
- Steve Fulmer claims the Player of the Year award
- Played 23 (including play-off), won 13, lost 8, drawn 2, points for 348, points against 317, finished 6th
- First grade did not fulfill expectations, reserve grade had their most successful season finishing sixth
- David Waite took over as first grade coach
- Newcastle won their first major championship trophy, the Nissan Sevens
- Mark Glanville and Michael Hagan played in every match for the season
- Mike McLean selected in Queensland State of Origin side
- Marc Glanville is voted Player of the Year
- Played 22, won 6, drawn 3, lost 13, points for 328, points against 424
- Life membership of the Club awarded to Sam Stewart
- First semifinal appearance in first grade
- First grade lost the major semifinal to St George 2-3 finishing fourth on the table, their most successful season to date
- Robbie McCormack claims the Player of the Year Award
- Played 24 (including 2 finals), won 13, drawn 2, lost 9, points for 386, points against 272, finished 4th
- Paul Harragon represented Australia
- Mark Sargent named Captain of City and Paul Harragon named Representative Country Rugby League Player of the Year
- David Boyd, Michael Hagan and Marc Glanville were the first players to pass 100 first grade games
- Club Captain Michael Hagan left the Club to play for Halifax in Great Britain
- Reserve grade were the minor premiers and grand finalists, losing by a narrow margin 5-4 to North Sydney
- Marc Glanville is named Player of the Year
- Played 22, won 10, lost 12, points for 337, points against 381, finished 9th
- Andrew Johns made his run-on debut against South Sydney where he played a major role in the 43-14 win. Johns scored two tries, kicked seven goals and kicked a field goal for a personal haul of 23 points.
- Mark Sargent and Robbie McCormack reached their 100th first grade game for the Club
- Reserve grade were again the minor premiers and grand finalists going down to Cronulla
- Five players selected for Country v City Origin
- A record number of six in the Kangaroos train on squad
- Malcolm Reilly was appointed to replace coach David Waite
- Robbie McCormack is named Player of the Year
- Played 22, won 9, lost 13, points for 427, points against 458, finished 10th
- Reserve grade won the premiership after reaching their third consecutive grand final defeating Cronulla 22-10
- First grade also had their best result finishing equal third after being undefeated in the competition until round 10
- New point scoring record 549 points with 92 tries
- It was the last year for Knights faithfuls Mark Sargent, Robbie McCormack, and Brad Godden
- Andrew Johns represented Australia and was named player of the tournament at the 1995 World Cup
- Paul Marquet is the Club's Player of the Year
- Played 25 (including finals), won 17, lost 8, points for 592, points against 436, finished 5th
- The Club won their second World Sevens tournament
- Marathon Stadium hosted the ARL v Fiji test match
- Continued presence of Knights players in the representative ranks at both state and international level
- Paul Harragon named Dally M Prop of the Year and Country Player of the Year for the second year running
- Owen Craigie debuted off the bench against Brisbane at the age of 17 years, two months and 20 days
- Paul Harragon re-signed with the Club for another two seasons
- Tony Butterfield is Player of the Year
- Played 21, won 10, lost 10, drawn 1, forfeit 1, points for 416, points against 388, finished 9th
- The Club's 10 year anniversary in the competition
- Knights first grade win the Optus Cup v Manly on "a perfect day", the winning try being scored by Darren Albert in the final six seconds. Captained by Paul Harragon and coached by Malcolm Reilly. Final score 22-16
- Fairytale ending to Knights careers of Marc Glanville and Adam Muir
- Robbie O'Davis is named Player of the Year
- Played 26 (including 4 finals), won 17, lost 8, drawn 1, points for 591, points against 395, finished second and won the premiership
- A successful year ever for the Club as every grade reached the semifinals from the U16s to first grade
- Farewelled coach Malcolm Reilly
- Newcastle's home crowd exceeded all others in the premiership
- Tony Butterfield earned his first "Blues" jersey
- Ended the season on equal points with minor premiers Brisbane who won on points difference
- Andrew Johns is Player of the Year
- Played 26 (including finals), won 18, drawn 1, lost 7, points for 593, points against 425, finished second
- Warren Ryan took over as coach
- The NRL side made it to the play off
- Paul Harragon, one of the founding players, Club Captain since 1995, state and Australian representative, retired
- It was an injury ridden season for first grade who used 33 players throughout the season
- The Club signed Ben Kennedy, Matt Parsons and David Fairleigh
- Danny Buderus wins Player of the Year
- Played 25 (including final), won 14, drawn 1, lost 10, points for 591, points against 514, finished 7th
- Finished outright third on the premiership table
- Club Captain Tony Butterfield retired after a record 229 games for the 'red and blue'
- Life member Matthew Johns left the Club to play in England
- Scored more tries in the season than any other team with 126
- End of Warren Ryan's coaching at the Knights
- David Fairleigh is named Player of the Year
- Played 28 (including finals), won 16, drawn 1, lost 11, points for 736, points against 574, finished 3rd
- Andrew Johns named Captain, Bill Peden Club Captain
- Ex-Club Captain Michael Hagan takes over as first grade coach with enormous success winning the Telstra premiership against Parramatta
- 15,000 people at Marathon Stadium at 3.30am following the victory
- Newcastle had a record five Australian, three State of Origin and six country representatives
- Steve Simpson claims the Player of the Year award
- Played 29 (including finals), won 19, drawn 1, lost 9, points for 870, points against 679, finished third and won the premiership
- Lost minor premiership to Warriors on points differential
- Big year for injuries losing valuable players at critical times. Many young players step up and take responsibilities
- Andrew Johns takes over from Brad Fittler as Australian Captain
- Bill Peden finished with the Knights for a swansong season in London
- Andrew Johns is Player of the Year
- Played 26 (including finals), won 17, lost 9, points for 756, points against 562, finished 2nd
- Andrew Johns and Robbie O'Davis play their 200th first grade games
- Josh Perry becomes the latest State of Origin representative
- Knights beat Broncos in Brisbane for the first time
- Andrew Johns suffers severe neck injury
- Knights make semifinals for the seventh year in succession
- Adam MacDougall signed with South Sydney
- Danny Buderus claims the Player of the Year award
- Played 25 (including finals), won 14, lost 11, points for 640, points against 671, finished 7th
- Andrew Johns suffers knee injury in round 3 and misses remainder of season
- Danny Buderus Captains Newcastle and NSW Origin Blues in all three games
- Knights finish 10th on the ladder, falling two spots clear of the top eight
- Danny Buderus wins Dally M Player of the Year award
- Danny Buderus named as Vice Captain to Darren Lockyer for Tri-Nations tournament against New Zealand and Great Britain
- Danny Buderus captains Australian side against Great Britain through injury to Lockyer
- Danny Buderus is named Player of the Year
- Played 24, won 10, lost 14, points for 516, points against 617, finished 10th
- Newcastle finish in last place for first time in club's history
- Matt Gidley, Danny Buderus and Steve Simpson play Country Origin
- Andrew Johns, Simpson and Buderus play Origin for NSW, Buderus as Captain
- Knight's coach, Michael Hagan, coaches the Queensland Origin Squad for the 2nd successive year
- Danny Buderus wins Dally M Hooker of the Year
- Andrew Johns plays three games for Warrington in the UK after completion of NRL season
- Steve Simpson is Player of the Year
- Played 24, won 8, lost 16, points for 467, points against 667, finished last
- Andrew Johns played his final Test for Australia
- Kurt Gidley selected for Country Origin
- Danny Buderus captained the Blues for his 3rd consecutive season
- Andrew Johns became the games all time leading point scorer
- Newcastle end the season in 4th place on the competition ladder
- Knights defeat Manly at home in the first week of the finals, but bow out to Brisbane the following week
- Matthew Gidley finished his career with Newcastle and joined English club St Helens
- Coach Michael Hagan left at the end of the year to join Parramatta
- Danny Buderus is Player of the Year
- Played 26 (including finals), won 15, lost 11, points for 639, points against 604, finished 4th
- Brian Smith took over as coach
- Andrew Johns announced his retirement from Rugby League
- Danny Buderus, Kurt Gidley and Clint Newton represent Country Origin
- Jarrod Mullen and Kurt Gidley debut for NSW along with teammates Danny Buderus and Steve Simpson
- Adam MacDougall returned after three years with South Sydney
- Knights suffer seven straight losses from rounds 18 onwards
- Kurt Gidley (Knights Player of the Year) earns an Australian Test Jersey against New Zealand
- Kurt Gidley is Player of the Year
- Played 24, won 9, lost 15, points for 418, points against 708, finished 15th
- Knights finish in 9th position, just two points outside the NRL top eight
- Newcastle had defeated five of the final top eight teams during season 2008, including both Grand Finalists
- Aku Uate scores in his NRL debut
- Danny Buderus finishes his NRL career with the Knights and joins Leeds in the British Super
- Kurt Gidley, Ben Cross, Steve Simpson and Danny Buderus represent NSW
- Kurt Gidley represents Australia in the Centenary Test and at Rugby League World Cup
- Kurt Gidley is Player of the Year
- Played 24, won 12, lost 12, points for 516, points against 486, finished 9th
- Side finishes 7th but were knocked out in week one of the final series
- Kurt Gidley and James McManus represent NSW
- Kurt Gidley represents Australia in the Anzac Test and 4 Nations Tournament
- Brian Smith was replaced as coach after 20 rounds by Rick Stone
- Isaac De Gois is named Player of the Year
- Played 25 (including finals), won 13, lost 12, points for 520, points against 517, finished 7th
- Knights finished in 11th position
- Kurt Gidley captained the NSW Blues
- Antonio Kaufusi joined the team mid season from the North Queensland Cowboys
- Zeb Taia and Junior Sa’u represented New Zealand and Kurt Gidley represented Australia
- Matt Hilder is named Player of the Year
- Played 24, won 10, lost 14, points for 499, points against 569
- Knights finished in 8th position
- Kurt Gidley and Akuila Uate played for NSW Blues
- Akuila Uate represented Australia, Kurt Gidley was also selected but withdrew
- Hunter Sports Group took ownership of the Newcastle Knights Rugby League Club by a landslide vote
- Wayne Bennett is announced as new coach, replacing Rick Stone at the end of the season
- Kurt Gidley claims the Player of the Year award
- Played 25 (including final), won 12, lost 13, points for 486, points against 461, finished 8th
- Knights finished 12th after an indifferent first half of the season
- Danny Buderus returned to the Club
- Kurt Gidley suffered a season-ending shoulder injury
- Akuila Uate and Darius Boyd played for Australia
- Akuila Uate played two of three games for NSW, Darius Boyd played three games for QLD
- Willie Mason and Dane Gagai joined the Knights midway through the season
- Knights launched their Hall of Fame; inducting Allan McMahon, Paul Harragon, Matt Gidley, Andrew Johns and Michael Hagan
- Zeb Taia, Evarn Tuimavave, Kyle O'Donnell, Wes Naiqama, Joel Edwards and Junior Sa'u bid farewell at the end of the season
- Timana Tahu reclaimed the top try-scoring record
- Akuila Uate was named Dally M Winger of the Year
- Chris Houston named Knights Player of the Year
- Played 24, won 10, lost 14, points for 448, points against 488
- Scored 100 tries in a season for the first time since 2006
- On average gained more metres per game than any other Club
- Joseph Leilua scored the second-most tries by a Knight in their Club debut season
- James McManus represented NSW and Darius Boyd represented QLD
- Tyrone Roberts and Robbie Rochow didn't miss a game all season
- Eight players took part in the Rugby League World Cup
- Danny Buderus became the most capped Knights player, breaking Andrew Johns' record in Round 22
- Neville Costigan, Kevin Naiqama, Peter Mata'utia, Tonga Likiliki bid farewell at season's end
- Darius Boyd was named NRL Player of the Year
- Played 27 (including finals), won 14, drawn 1, lost 12, points for 582, points against 484, finished 7th
- NRL finished in 12th position after a difficult season
- Alex McKinnon suffered a devastating spinal injury
- Beau Scott was named NRL Player of the Year
- NSW Cup made the Grand Final, but lost to Penrith in the decider
- NYC won the Holden Cup minor premiership, but went on to be defeated in week two of the finals
- Robbie Rochow and Tyrone Roberts played in every game, both for the second season-in-a-row
- Matt Hilder and Anthony Quinn retired, while Willie Mason, Adam Cuthbertson, Michael Dobson and Josh Mantellato bid farewell at season's end
- Ownership of the Club changed, with the NRL taking charge
- CEO Matt Gidley signed on for an additional two years
- Danny Buderus, Mark Sargent and Tony Butterfield inducted into the Knights Hall of Fame
- Played 24, won 10, lost 14, points for 463, points against 571, finished 12th
- Knights finished 16th
- Knights were 2015 NSW Cup premiers, beating the Wyong Roos 20-10 in the Grand Final
- Dane Gagai made his Queensland Origin debut
- Danny Buderus took over as interim coach following the departure of Rick Stone
- Kurt Gidley became the most capped captain and the Club's second most capped player (251) before departing the NRL to play next season in the English Super League
- David Fa'alogo and Clint Newton retired while Tyrone Roberts, Beau Scott, Adam Clydsdale and Carlos Tuimavave departed the Club at season's end
- Danny Levi was named for the second time in the Holden Cup Team of the Year
- Nathan Brown was appointed as head coach for season 2016
- Kurt Gidley is named Player of the Year
- Played 24, won 8, lost 16, points for 458, points against 612
- Knights finished 16th
- Knights finished 12th in the Intrust Super Premiership and 9th in the Holden Cup
- Jarrod Mullen reached the milestone of 200 games for the Knights in Round 3, while Jeremy Smith reached 200 first grade matches in Round 8 and Dane Gagai reached 100 first grade matches in Round 11 and 100 first grade matches for the Knights in Round 20
- David Bhana, Jaelen Feeney, Pat Mata’utia, Daniel Saifiti, Jacob Saifiti, Cory Denniss, Will Pearsall, Josh King, Brock Lamb, Jack Cogger and Dylan Phythian all made their first grade debuts in 2016, while Trent Hodkinson, Pauli Pauli, Mickey Paea, Mitch Barnett and Brendan Elliot made their Club debuts
- Jeremy Smith, Kade Snowden and James McManus retired, while Robbie Rochow departed the Club at season’s end
- Dane Gagai won the Danny Buderus NRL Player of the Year Award, while Daniel Saifiti won the hotly contested Rookie of the Year Award
- Dane Gagai made three appearances for the Queensland Origin side, scoring four tries
- Played 24, won 1, drawn 1, lost 22, points for 305, points against 800
- Knights finished 16th
- Knights finished 7th in the Intrust Super Premiership and 7th in the Holden Cup
- Sione Mata'utia reached the milestone of 50 games for the Knights in Round 5, while Trent Hodkinson reached 150 NRL matches in Round 20
- Jamie Buhrer, Ken Sio, Josh Starling, Joe Wardle, Jacob Gagan, Anthony Tupou and Shaun Kenny-Dowall made their Club debuts, while Sam Stone, Luke Yates and Tyrone Amey made their NRL debuts
- Anthony Tupou and Rory Kostjasyn retired, while Dane Gagai, Brendan Elliot, Jaelen Feeney, Jacob Gagan, Sam Mataora, Peter Mata'utia, Mickey Paea, Pauli Pauli, Will Pearsall, Tyler Randell, Josh Starling, Jack Stockwell and Joe Wardle departed the Club
- Mitch Barnett won the Danny Buderus NRL Player of the Year Award, while Brock Lamb won the Rookie of the Year Award
- Dane Gagai made three appearances for the Queensland Origin side
- Played 24, won 5, lost 19, points for 428, points against 648
• Knights finished 11th
• Knights Jersey Flegg finished first to claim the minor premiership, while the ISP NSW side finished 12th
• Mitchell Pearce, Slade Griffin, Tautau Moga, Herman Ese'ese, Aidan Guerra, Chris Heighingto, Jacob Lillyman, Kalyn Ponga, Connor Watson and JJ Felise made their Club debut
• Nick Meaney, Pasami Saulo and Tom Starling made their NRL debut
• Shaun Kenny-Dowall and Mitchell Pearce played their 250th NRL games
• Mitch Barnett played 50 Club games and 50 NRL games
• Danny Levi, Herman Ese'ese, Daniel Saifiti, Connor Watson and Nathan Ross played 50 NRL games
• Jamie Buhrer played 150 NRL games
• Kalyn Ponga made his Queensland State of Origin debut
• Herman Ese'se and Slade Griffin made their New Zealand Test debut
• The Club said goodbye to Jack Cogger, Nick Meaney, Chris Heighington, Jacob Lillyman, Brock Lamb and Pat Mata'utia
• Knights finished 11th.
• The Club's Jersey Flegg team finished 7th, bowing out of the semi finals in the first week, while the Canterbury Cup side came 11th.
• The Club debuted new recruits James Gavet, Tim Glasby, Hymel Hunt, David Klemmer, Edrick Lee, Kurt Mann and Jesse Ramien in Round 1.
• Bradman Best, Starford To'a and Phoenix Crossland made their NRL debuts.
• Daniel Saifiti made his State of Origin debut, alongside team mates David Klemmer and Mitchell Pearce.
• Kalyn Ponga and Tim Glasby both made their returns to the Queensland team.
• Lachlan Fitzgibbon, Jacob Saifiti, Hymel Hunt and Josh King played their 50th NRL games.
• Sione Mata'utia, Edrick Lee and Kurt Mann played their 100th NRL games.
• Coach Nathan Brown finished with the Club at the conclusion of Round 23. Kristian Woolf took the reigns as Head Coach for the remaining two games.
• The club said goodbye to Nathan Ross, Jamie Buhrer, James Gavet, Shaun Kenny-Dowell, Zac Woolford and Slade Griffin.
• Adam O'Brien is appointed as Head Coach for 2020 and beyond.
• Mitch Barnett extended his contract with the Club.
• Knights finished 7th, returning to the finals for the first time since 2013.
• Jayden Brailey arrived from Cronulla, along with Enari Tuala and Gehamat Shibasaki, who both arrived in the pre-season.
• Danny Levi and Beau Fermor departed the Club in the pre-season.
• Jirah Momoisea and Tex Hoy were promoted from a Development contract and into the Top 30.
• Pasami Saulo, Enari Tuala, Jirah Momoisea, Kalyn Ponga, Connor Watson, Josh King and Jacob Saifiti extended their contracts.
• Adam O’Brien became only the 12th coach in the Club’s history.
• COVID-19 saw the competition frozen for several weeks, while all lower-grade competitions were cancelled.
• Tex Hoy, Chris Randall and Brodie Jones made their NRL debut in Round 3.
• Kalyn Ponga made his 50th NRL appearance, while David Klemmer played his 150th. Aidan Guerra also crossed the 200 game barrier.
• Andrew McCullough joined the Club mid-season on a loan deal, while Blake Green also joined mid-year on a permanent basis.
• The Club farewelled Aidan Guerra, Tim Glasby (retired), Herman Ese'ese (Titans), Sione Mata'utia (St Helens), Tautau Moga, Mason Lino and Tyronne Roberts-Davis (not re-signed).
• Kalyn Ponga claims the Danny Buderus Medal for Player of the Year.
• Post season, Daniel Saifiti played all three games for New South Wales, taking out the 'True Blue' Award for his efforts in the 2-1 series loss.
• Edrick Lee made his Origin debut, scoring a try and playing a key role in Queensland's 20-14 win in the series decider.
• Knights finished 7th, marking the first time the Club have made back-to-back finals series since 2004.
• State of Origin and Test forward Tyson Frizell joined the Club from St George Illawarra.
• English young guns Dominic Young and Bailey Hodgson signed in the pre-season, while the Club also welcomed new additions Sauaso Sue, Brayden Musgrove and Jack Johns prior to training beginning.
• Blake Green retired from the NRL mid-season.
• Starford To'a, Bradman Best, Mitchell Pearce, Brodie Jones, Daniel Saifiti, Jacob Saifiti, Hymel Hunt, Kurt Mann, Lachlan Fitzgibbon and Jayden Brailey extended their contracts.
• Adam O’Brien inked a two year contract extension, tying him to the Club until at least 2024.
• COVID-19 saw the competition relocated to Southeast Queensland, with the Knights operating out of a hub on the Sunshine Coast.
• Dominic Young, Brayden Musgrove, Simi Sasagi, Mat Croker and Jirah Momoisea made their NRL debuts.
• Mitchell Pearce made his 300th NRL appearance, while Daniel Saifiti played his 100th. Sauaso Sue also crossed the 150 game barrier.
• The Club farewelled Connor Watson (Sydney Roosters), Josh King (Melbourne Storm), Gehamat Shibasaki (Japanese Rugby), Mitchell Pearce (Catalans Dragons) and Blake Green (Retired).
• Jacob Saifiti claimed the Danny Buderus Medal as the Club's Player of the Year.
• Daniel Saifiti played two games for New South Wales, scoring a try in Game I, while Kalyn Ponga played Game III for Queensland. The Blues won the series 2-1.
In 2021, the Club was successful in gaining entry into the 2021 NRLW season.