Young Knights fan meets heroes

Some people go their whole lives without ever meeting their heroes, but for one lucky Knights fan, this dream has become a reality.

Meet Ffin Owen, the 10-year-old New Zealand-based diehard, whose commitment to the red and blue stemmed from a hand-me-down player card, featuring James McManus.

Ffin was only four when his big brother, a Bulldogs fan, handed him his only Knights player card after the Knights defeated his beloved Dogs to get into the preliminary finals.

According to his father Geb Owen, this was the beginning of an obsession.

Ffin's dream turned to reality in 2015 when he was invited to attend a training session in Auckland. Although the Knights 2015 campaign is one most fans would love to forget, Ffin had never missed a game on TV, and was jumping at the opportunity to meet his heroes.

The father and son duo drove over four hours to attend Captain's Run, and this is where his relationship with Sione Mata'utia blossomed.

The pair have developed a special bond over the years, with Sione selflessly making time for the young fan whenever the Knights make the trip to Auckland. Ffin has also been lucky enough to score himself some of Sione's training and playing gear.

"Ffin's highlights would have to be meeting his hero Sione, along with being invited into the sheds after the game at Mt Smart in 2017," Geb told newcastleknights.com.au

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Being a rugby junior and captain of his team, Ffin relished at the opportunity to see how a professional leader in Mitchell Pearce directs his team around the park.

"Ffin takes on a big responsibility in leading his team both at practice and on game day," Geb said.

"He studied how Pearcey (Mitchell Pearce) led by example, as well as verbally leading the team around the park,"

"A how-to session with KP (Kalyn Ponga) on Ffin's goal-kicking technique was definitely a highlight, and needless to say there will be plenty of hours practice at the local field to come!"

A true testament to his dedication, Ffin paid his own way across the ditch to attend a Knights home game, and watch his heroes in action.

"Ffin had been desperate to go to Newcastle for years," his father explained.

"I told him we could, but he would to save for his own airfare,"

"His face lit up, and set about doing chores around the house and for his grandparents, and within a month he had it all ready to go."

Geb and Ffin attended the Roosters game at McDonald Jones Stadium last season. Although the Knights couldn't get the job done on the day, there was a silver lining for Ffin.

"He was heartbroken, tears running down his face at fulltime," Geb stated.

"But what he didn't know, is that the Club had organised for him to meet the boys after the game."

"His face lit up, it was an amazing experience, and was truely the highlight of his trip."

Years of support finally paid off when the pair attended the Knights Round 8 victory over the Warriors and Ffin took home Kalyn's headgear, another piece of memorabilia to add to his unique collection.