It was a defining moment for the nib Newcastle Knights on the weekend, winning their first game of the season and in emphatic style, against the Gold Coast Titans on home turf.
The eight-point victory, won in the last five minutes of a thrilling Round 2 clash, made all the more special with the ‘Old Boys’ watching on from the sidelines.
17 of the Club’s most capped players went back to where it all began to celebrate 30 years, to see a new era take the field at McDonald Jones Stadium, nostalgia at its best.
“There was a lot of memories, a lot of fans over the years that I can remember over the 30 years,” said the Club’s most capped player Danny Buderus.
“It’s just awesome being out there seeing some familiar faces and enjoying the day with everyone.
“I’ve been one of those guys that have been lucky enough to be involved in the Club over the last few years since I’ve been retired, so it’s always good to come back, the Club is still very dear to my heart.”
In the sheds before the game, Mark Hughes, who played in two premierships with the Knights, said it was great to be able to see the boys prepare and hand out playing jerseys.
“It’s a real big thrill for all of us former players to see the current guys and wish them well,” Hughes explained.
The event brought back memories for Hughes too.
“’Walking out and you get a cheer, you do remember how wonderful it was to be lucky enough to play in front of this amazing home crowd,” Hughes said.
“I did that for 10 years and was just so grateful to do that.”
Talking after the match, Paul ‘the Chief’ Harragon believes the win against the Titans was much more than just the two points.
“The boys showed some real ticker,” he explained.
“A win like that gives a lot of hope to everyone in the Club and everyone in the community, it’s a good day.”
He also made special mention of the young talent in the current squad.
“Young Stoney (Sam Stone) came on to the field and pretty well scored straight away with a try, he did some really good touches as well as young (Luke) Yatesy,” Harragon added.
“Nathan Brown has been really smart in elevating the right kids at the right time and it is going to be the youth that is going to get us through, they’re all local boys and that’s what we want.
“It is a good day for them and they won’t forget this win for a long time.
“The win sets the whole year up, it gives everyone hope and who knows, after that, they could grow and grow.
“It’s a great start to the year.”
Don’t forget to show your support for the Knights in their Round 3 clash against the South Sydney Rabbitohs, with the footy returning to McDonald Jones Stadium this Saturday.
All three grades will again be in action, with gates opening at 12 noon, NYC kicking off at 12.15pm, before Reserve Grade at 2.10pm and NRL at 4.30pm.