Over the next two weeks we farewell our departing players of 2017 by looking back over their time at the Club.
Today, we farewell Anthony Tupou, who came to the nib Newcastle Knights in early 2017.
The Newcastle junior made his long-awaited debut in the red and blue in Round 5 this season but unfortunately was forced to retire from the game, due to a hip injury suffered in Round 10.
The 34-year-old notched up 240 NRL games, starting his career in 2004 for the Sydney Roosters.
Tupou linked with the Cronulla Sharks in 2009 before moving to England to play Super League and returned in 2017 to play with the Knights this season.
His stellar career included 11 tests for Australia, one test match for Tonga and four Origin matches for NSW.
We spoke to the many players and coaches who were a part of Tupou’s long-standing career.
“He was a great role model. He guided young kids on what they needed to do to become an elite player.”
“Wherever he heads in life, he will be successful.”
“He has done everything possible in the game.”
“He was great for our game and never did anything wrong off the field and he’s a proud Novocastrian.”
“Tupes is one of my favourite players and I am very honoured to have played alongside him.”
“He’s not a loud player but he did his job and he did it well.”
“We went through some tough times off the field and he was always someone we could rely on and someone we could talk to.”
“It was an honour to play alongside him and to call him one of my good mates.”
“He was one of my favourite players and I loved coaching him.”
“He never said much but when we sat and talked, he listened and you saw the reaction on the field.”
“Rugby league is such a great game and it is under-rated how much it affects lives. It has been a massive part of my life.”
“This year a dream has come true, I always wanted to play for the Knights and not many people get to finish where they started in their home town.”