Ashley Gordon reckons once you don the red and blue of the Newcastle Knights, it never leaves you.
As the Club’s first ever signing back in 1987 and a player with 71 top grade games to his name, Gordon has a deep passion for the Knights dating back years.
It's why he jumped at the opportunity to become the Club's new Indigenous Liaison Officer, working in a mentoring role with the Knights' Indigenous players.
You see, Gordon not only has a love for Newcastle's football team, he also has a strong desire to make a difference in his community.
The former Dally M winger of the year back in 1990 has worked in various education and counselling roles in his post-football career and now hopes to bring this knowledge and experience to the Knights.
“I’m very passionate about the Club, so it’s good to be back and getting involved," Gordon said at Knights' HQ at Wests Mayfield on Thursday.
“I’m also passionate about working with Aboriginal players and getting these guys to reach their potential.
"The whole reason for putting my name out there for this position was giving back.
"I do think I can play a role in helping these players.
"I know for a fact my background in education, counselling and affairs will benefit the players.
"I also want the players to put back into the community as well."
Gordon says his role will also include making sure the footballers are in a good position off the field.
"An important part of the position is to ensure the players are happy away from the game," he says.
"Whether that be in education or any course, I do want to help them professionally, but also looking at their happiness and mental health.
"I’d really like to talk to you in five years time when hopefully there are a few players who have gone on to play in the NRL."
NRL Ambassador Dean Widders was also on hand for the special announcement on Thursday.
Widders says Gordon's role with the Knights' Indigenous players is not only great news for the Club, but also the game in general.
"It’s ground breaking in the game and it’s fantastic the Knights have taken the lead with it," Widders enthuses.
"I think it’s needed in the game, because the more mentors we have around players the better.
"There is a lot of stress for a young rugby league player these days.
"It’s about getting their life right on the field and performing, but also off the field there is a lot of pressure.
"A guy like Ash will be great for the Indigenous players, but he’ll also be great for all their players.
"He certainly comes with great qualifications and it also sends another message to our players that being a rugby league player is great, but if you can be educated there is a role for you in our game.
"He has changed so many peoples lives and he has helped people who have been really struggling, so he’ll bring real value to the club."
Widders applauded the Club's move to appoint Gordon, admitting he hopes it now encourages other NRL club's to follow the Knights' lead.
"I think it’s great for the players of tomorrow, that they have got that support with them off the field," he added.
"The club’s are really on the front foot about taking care of the community.
"I think you’ll find these young boys will become better balanced athletes and will make a bigger difference in the community not only for Indigenous people, but all of Australia.
"I think you’ll see a lot of club’s take note of this appointment and they’ll go out and do the same thing.”