The story behind the iconic ‘Newcastle’ chant

It's the most iconic chant in rugby league. 

As a supporter of the nib Newcastle Knights, there's no grater sounds than the thunderous 'Newcastle, Newcastle' call to arms.

When the team has its back against the wall and the chant echoes around the ground, the crowd becomes the Knights' 18th man.

Knights premiership winner Stephen Crowe revealed it all start in 1997 during the infamous grand final against Manly.

"The first time we heard it was during the grand final," Crowe said.

"It started out of the blue and when we got home to the workers club we were on the balcony and it started again.

"The next year it stayed and would pop up, not just at home games but away games as well."

Whether you're at the game in person or watching at home, you can't help but be captured by the energy the chant brings.

But Club legend Mark Sargent revealed that prior to the Newcastle chant being born, the Knights originals listened to a different call.

The first chant was for former All Black John Schuster whose speed and goal-kicking prowess was a hit with the supporters.

"The Newcastle chant is a bit after my time," Sargent said.

"The chant we used to have was when John Schuster was playing for the Club and the whole hill would start going 'Shu, shu, shu, shu' every time the man touched the football and it was quite justified because he was an outstanding player.

"That's what we had ringing in our ears.

"... I think (the first time I heard) it was around the 97 era when the guys were leading into winning the first premiership.

"When I was footy manager and running the bench for Hages (Michael Hagan), that chant would start.

According to Club legend Bill Peden, the 'Newcastle' chant was so loud, you couldn't help but take notice.

While the players have a tunnel-vision like focus, when the roar of the crowd screams as one, it gives the troops a lift like nothing else.

"Its often weird being a sports person, you see the crowd and all of a sudden you get into the moment and then you hear this chant 'Newcastle, Newcastle'," Peden said.

"It breaks into that performance state that you're in and you realise this is more than just a footy game.

"There's people that are really passionate about their community, that are following the team that want you to do well.

"It really makes the hairs on the back of your neck stand up.

"It does help you to lift in situations when you're down. It gives you that extra step knowing you're doing it for more than just you."