Picture Mark Hughes in any other jersey than the blue and red.
It just wouldn’t look right.
But in his rookie season, the Bulldogs came calling.
In the same season he claimed a premiership victory, Hughes attracted a deal from Canterbury.
Rather than jump ship and take the cash, he re-signed with the Knights instead.
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“In 97 I had an offer from Canterbury, a solid one as well but it wasn’t real serious,” Hughes said.
“I was just about to play in a grand final in 97. I signed on the week leading into the grand final for two more years
“I’m a Newcastle boy. Born and bred in Kurri and didn’t want to go.
“Like a lot of players at the club, you take a little less to stay here because of the town and where you want to live.”
Sing it loud and proud!
That wasn’t the only time a rival came calling.
In 1999, Hughes received his most lucrative and tempting offer to join an opposition side but in true Hughes fashion, the humble country kid wanted to remain a Knight.
And to do so, he took a significant hit to the pocket.
“I had really big interest from the Warriors,” Hughes told the Our Town Our Team podcast.
“It got to the point where one afternoon they gave me until midnight to make a decision because I was umming and arghing and kept putting it off because I didn’t want to go.
“I then went to Stephen Crowe, who was working at the club, I think we went to Ian Burnett’s and I got Warren Ryan who was the coach and was honest. I said ‘look, this is getting out of hand now, I’ve got to make a call on this and it was crunch time’.
“At about 8 or 9 o’clock that night, a couple of things were fixed and sorted so that I could stay. I gave away a lot of money. It was about 1999, I was so grateful that I stayed because premiership and all these things.
“I never wanted to go and I got a lot of support off the crowd. You put a lot into the community and you get it all back… I would advise the current players to invest in the community because it’s a wonderful community out there.”