It was a memorable return to Newcastle and Hunter Stadium for Alex McKinnon on the RiseForAlex weekend.
“It was great to get back to Newcastle over the weekend… I was really happy to see my teammates and to be in that environment, which I love,” he said on Monday.
Temporary modifications were made to Alex’s house by Guy Keenan Building, with the assistance of Under 20s players, to make his homecoming complete.
“I would just have been happy to sit out the front of my house but I got a surprise when I went to the house, some of the 20s boys and local builders had put together a ramp for me to get inside the house,” he beamed.
“I can’t explain how that felt... I am very thankful for them and enjoyed getting back inside my house.”
It was an emotion filled occasion at Hunter Stadium, with the injured Knight leading the teams out onto the ground.
“Leading the boys out was always one of my goals as a footballer,” McKinnon admitted.
“The one thing I would have loved to do was captain the Knights and obviously now I don’t have that opportunity but yesterday was a dream come true, with Kurt (Gidley) pushing me out and to lead the boys out.
“When the chant for Alex came out, I tried to hold it together… it was pretty emotional, it shows the town getting behind someone in need.
“I want to thank the whole crowd and everyone who attended, it was a day I will never forget, and a day my family and (partner) Teigan will never forget.”