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There’s no doubt Kurt Gidley was one of the most dedicated players ever to pull on the red and blue, with his career spanning 15 years.

Just over a month ago, the 35-year-old called time on his long and illustrious football career, hanging up the boots after two years with the Warrington Wolves in the English Super League.

On return to his hometown, Newcastle, Gidley reflected on retirement and the many years spent playing the sport he loved with the team he loved equally.

“I'm so lucky and grateful to play my whole NRL career at the Knights, in the town that I grew up in and to captain the team for a lot of my career,” smiled Gidley.

“Playing in front of my family and friends at Newcastle, it was an absolutely wonderful time.

“Also, to play for two years in England for Warrington… the experience of living in a different country, different culture and travelling around Europe was fantastic.

“It has been a great career but I’m very excited to get back home and back down by the beach to catch up with a lot of old friends and family.”

The utility back made his NRL debut with the Knights back in 2001 and went on to record 251 appearances in the red and blue jersey, the Club’s second most capped player.

Gidley was also the Club’s most capped skipper at 123 games and through the years was a regular representative player for Australia, NSW, NSW Country, the Prime Minister’s XIII and the NRL All Stars.

Having played since the age of seven, he admits it’s sad his career has come to an end but there is also a bit of relief.

“It becomes more of a challenge every year to get up for every game, mentally and physically,” Gidley explained.