For Kurt Gidley, Saturday’s game couldn’t hold much more significance if it was possible.
The most capped Newcastle Knights captain will play his 250th NRL game, a feat he’s achieved impressively as a one-club player in the red and blue.
Then there’s the fact the skipper will play his last game for the Knights before departing the Club, tipping his cap on an illustrious 15 year career in Newcastle.
This will all happen on the most hallowed match in the Club’s season, Old Boys Day, played out in front of a passionate home crowd at Hunter Stadium.
It can’t get much bigger than that, a reflective Gidley said on the team’s return to Newcastle after Monday night’s victory over the Melbourne Storm.
“I knew my 250th was hopefully coming up this year," Gidley said, who was greeted with an enormous #THANKSGIDS monument erected at Knights HQ, organised to kick off a week celebrating his contribution to the Club.
"I wasn’t aware what week it would fall on and obviously injuries were a thing in the back of my mind, so I was hopeful to play as many games as I could this year.
“It’s a great week and a great occasion to finish my last home game with my 250th game.
“To play Saturday night at home in front of a lot of family and friends, teammates and former teammates for Old Boys Day which is always a huge occasion just by itself.
“What a wonderful week and a wonderful experience it will be.”
As he savours every last moment with the team, Monday night’s match has been etched as a memorable highlight of his final year.
“It goes down as one of the greatest memories of my career last night,” Gidley added.
“The way we defended last night... it was just such a memorable moment to play consistently for 80 minutes and to get the job done.
“I look back to the game last night and ask for the same amount of effort and desire.
“I couldn’t have asked for a better finish to the year, on the back of the win last night in Melbourne.
“I love this Club so much and I’m so proud of being captain of the Club and leading my teammates and the fans."
With the team rolling into Newcastle on Tuesday, a it’s a shorter than usual lead-time into Saturday’s Round 25 match against the Canterbury Bankstown Bulldogs.
Saturday is understandably going to be an emotional occasion for Gidley, but he’s confident he can remain focused on seeing out the season in a positive way.
“I think emotions are great and I’m an emotional bloke,” he said.
“I ride the highs and the lows and I love playing a team sport in front of our home fans and my family and love playing in front of ex teammates and the old boys.
“It’s great the emotion is there.
“I’m so proud of everything that I’ve achieved at this club.”
Gidley believes his farewell match at Hunter Stadium couldn’t have worked out any better.
“It’s a great thrill for me to lead the guys out through the guard of honour of Old Boys and to do it one last time on s special milestone for myself in front of the Old Boys. It couldn’t have worked out any better,” he said.
“When I first started playing at the Knights, Alan McMahon had a line, 'Be the player that every other player wants to play with'.
“I hope, and think deep down, that I’ve wanted to be that player that other players want to play with.
“I think by rolling up the sleeves and leading by example.
“I was never the fastest or the most skilled in the team. I was always physically fit, I had that going for me.
“I feel like I’ve always tried my best.”
The Knights host the Bulldogs this Saturday at Hunter Stadium, be don't miss the special occasion!
ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT #THANKSGIDS THIS SATURDAY:
The Club is set to celebrate the career of departing captain Kurt Gidley this Saturday, who will also play his 250th match to become the Club's second most capped player.
The first 2,500 fans in attendance will receive a #THANKSGIDS commemorative Knights shield at gates while there will be a 'Gids Zone' in the precinct which includes a petting zoo, jumping castle, face painting, DJ, Photo Booth plus giveaways and more.
After the full time siren, there'll be an official event to farewell Gidley as well as all of this year's departing players. Fans will be invited on the field, with Coconut Trio performing live before the event kicks off.