Mum’s the word on every players' lips as the Newcastle Knights pay tribute to the special women involved in the game of rugby league as well as in their personal lives as the NRL celebrates Women in League round.
This Sunday’s game at Hunter Stadium, which falls on Mother’s Day, will see the Club and players recognise the contribution women play to the game and the careers of players as family members, employees, volunteers, and supporters.
As much as rugby league often centres around the men who take the field each week, the Knights have taken the time to reflect on the women who have provided them the support to reach their potential.
Knights captain, Kurt Gidley named his mother as the most influential person in his life from the support and dedication she showed him during his schooling years, to always being there to give him a hug at the end of a football game.
“You always want a hug from your mum after a loss or a tough day. She’s always supported us,” he said.
Aku Uate also praised his Mum for providing him with the love and support that has helped him to achieve his goals.
“I’m really proud of her. I wouldn’t be where I am today without her,” the Fijian born winger said.
“She’s been there since day one, and until now, she’s still supporting me.
“She’s my number one fan.
Dave Faalogo, who's included in the Knights NRL lineup on Sunday against the Panthers, also credits his mother with playing a huge role in his success on the football field.
“Mum was always there, encouraging me to play sports.
When you’re Mum gives you that type of advice, you have to take it on board,” he said.
He believes that women are important in rugby league because every man needs a good woman in their life.
“They are always a massive part in preparing men for footy or work, what ever it is,” he said.
Jeremy Smith names his wife Jodie, the mother of their four children, as having the biggest impact in his life.
“She’s there through thick and thin, through injuries, through the tough times and the good times,” he said.
He also recognised the ever-important role his Mum, and many other women, play in maintaining the operation of rugby league.
From providing transport to football games and training, buying footy boots and volunteering in the tuck shop.
For Adam Cuthbertson, his Mum was at the centre of his career from his early playing days to offer advice and encouragement.
“My mum was just my number one fan. At the end of the day that’s the most important contribution she’s had in my life,” he said.
Sunday’s game will feature special appearances from many of the players' mothers.
Many of the Knights have also dedicated Sunday's game to the Mothers who support the team, and especially those who have chosen to spend their special day at Hunter Stadium.