14-year-old Thomas Eube and his family are undoubtedly some of the nib Newcastle Knights’ biggest supporters.
A member of the tap pups for four years and a keen piano player, Thomas has been a passionate football fan from a young age.
But the teenager, who smiles at just the mention of his favourite Club, has been diagnosed with Leukaemia and is currently unable to go to see his beloved Knights play.
“He’s had a long, hard battle and there’s a long road ahead of him but each day is a challenge for Thomas and I think having Trent (Hodkinson) here today is giving him some motivation to push on,” Thomas’ father Derrick said.
Thomas has already been in the John Hunter’s Children’s Hospital for more than 60 days, he can’t walk and is too weak to go to matches.
But to his delight on Wednesday afternoon he had a very special visitor.
Knights captain Trent Hodkinson made a trip to the hospital to see Thomas, delivering a number seven jersey and a kicking tee from the round one match against the New Zealand Warriors with Thomas’ name on it.
The ‘Tren7’s Kick for Kids’ initiative sees the captain dedicate a conversion each game to a child spending time in hospital.
He writes the child’s name on his kicking tee and personally delivers it to them, as well as a prize pack.
Thomas’ father said it has been amazing, as a Knights supporter himself for 30 years, to have Trent visit Thomas.
“Looking at the smile on his face right now, this has been magic for Tom,” said Derrick.
“Seeing Trent is just fabulous and having photos, which Tom was sending straight off to his school so he could show all his classmates that he met Trent, was fantastic.
“I’d also love for Trent to see Tom up and walking again in the not too distant future.”
Hodkinson maintains it’s as rewarding to see the children who are loyal red and blue supporters.
“It takes nothing out of my day to spend time here and hopefully it makes their day and puts a smile on their face,” said Hodkinson.
“The main reason why I do it, is to lift their spirits because what they’re going through is pretty tough and it puts it all in perspective when we think we’re having a tough day and you come in here and see what the kids go through.”