Mark Sargent has been inducted into the Club’s Hall of Fame with the history making Knight hailing the achievement a tremendous honour to be among some of the Club’s iconic legends.
Born and bred in Newcastle, and a product of Central Charlestown Butcher Boys, Mark Sargent had to leave town to chase his dream of playing big-time rugby league.
He leapt at the chance to come home after three seasons at Canterbury and in his first season at the Knights, Sargent was presented with the 1989 Rothmans Medal, sharing the game’s best-and-fairest player award with Cronulla’s Gavin Miller.
At the end of his second season, the skillful, mobile prop became the Club’s first Australian Test representative when he toured with the 1990 Kangaroos, then in 1992 returned to England at the end of the season with Australia’s triumphant World Cup squad.
In one of his most memorable games for Newcastle, a game they had to win to make their first finals series, he scored a hat-trick of tries in a victory over Canberra in the last round of 1992.
A NSW, City and Country representative, Sargent played 126 games in seven seasons with the Knights and in 1997 was named as a member of the club’s 20-Year Team.
Sargent succeeded great mate Michael Hagan as captain in 1994, continuing in that role until a knee injury prematurely ended his Knights playing career midway through 1995.
After two years sitting on the NRL judiciary panel, Sargent returned to the Knights in 2001 as football manager, and the Knights were crowned NRL premiers at the end of that season.
“It’s a tremendous honour to be recognised in this way by such a great Club," Sargent said on learning of his place in the Hall of Fame.
He was unable to attend the Newcastle Knights 2014 Awards ceremony, but took the opportunity beforehand to thank those who have made a contribution to his career and offered support including his family and the Club’s staff and players.
“I played in the very early part of the Club’s history and sometimes those guys get a little bit lost in the mist of time, so hopefully they will see this as a reflection of their contribution to the Club as well,” he said.
“I’d also like to acknowledge the fans, it’s a Hall of Fame nomination and you don’t get famous without fans.
“This Club’s fans have been fantastic to me when I was playing and that has continued in the nearly 20 years since I retired.
“I count myself as very fortunate and very grateful to be with a very committed group of people.”