The history of the nib Newcastle Knights is kept alive by the many men who have pulled on the red and blue jersey since the Club’s inaugural year in 1988.
Knights TV has tracked down some of the best through the years to see where they are now and what their lives look like after footy.
Bill Peden typifies the working-class roots of the Knights.
A local Cessnock lad, Peden played nine seasons and 190 NRL games in the red and blue jersey and now, years after footy, is involved with the Hunter mining industry.
But, life after the Knights all started with a move abroad.
“When I finished playing here, it always happens quicker than what you think, I moved over to England and played for a year,” Peden said.
“I was a strength and conditioning coach for the London Harlequins before I came back and was a strength and conditioning coach at the Knights for three years.”
Following on from that, the former Knights legend integrated into the Hunter community with a move to the mining industry.
“Very common in the Hunter, I moved into underground coal mining,” Peden said.
“I started off in a mine out near Beresfield, Abel Coal Mine, it’s since gone into care and maintenance but now I work at Chain Valley which is under Lake Macquarie.
“You often say you’re a coal miner and people think of open cuts which is up the valley but there is quite a lot of mining going on within this community, around Newcastle and underground, so we’re sort of tunnellers for want of a better term.”
The former Knights utility admits life after footy is something all players should start to think about early on in their careers.
“It's important to keep an eye on the future while you’re playing and it’s easy not to think about it when you're caught up in the hustle and bustle of professional sport,” he explained.
“Your career only lasts for 10 or 12 or 15 years if you’re really lucky, and there is a whole life after that so it does pay to keep an eye on something that can help you down the track.
From a Knights CEO to tradies, media and commentating careers, the Old Boys are an diverse group.
“We are a pretty eclectic bunch,” smiled Peden.
“You have your Matt Gidleys, the former CEO of the Club, down to blokes like myself who are into coal mining and pretty much every industry in between.
“It's great to see the Knights have people that can help the community down the track.
“I think us Old Boys, we feel a responsibility, we are all in a better position now because our involvement with the Club and our fans have looked after us over the years.
“Any opportunity we have to give something back, we certainly jump at the chance.”
Meanwhile, Peden has sung the praises of a new look Knights roster for the 2018 season.
“There have been a lot of changes and it is sad for some of the people that have left but it is very exciting, particularly for the Old Boys because we love to see a successful team,” he commented.
“Like everyone in the Hunter, we’re proud of the squad that Browny (Nathan Brown) has come up with and we see what sort of effort has been put into making the Club what it is now.”
“We have had a very tough three years, but I think things will change for the positive.
“There is a good buzz around the place and Browny has bought well and we’ve got some great kids coming to the club, so exciting times.”