O’Davis: Offers, Russell Crowe and retirement

It takes a lot to stay as a one club player in the NRL.

For Robbie O’Davis however, the idea of ever leaving the Newcastle Knights never crossed his mind throughout his glittering 223 game career in the red and blue.

There was just one simple fact that stopped the 1997 Clive Churchill Medal winner from entertaining outside offers.

“It was never about money…I just couldn’t imagine wearing another colour jersey,” O’Davis told the Our Town Our Team podcast.

O’Davis did of course field offers from rival clubs, with the now 47-year-old knocking back a few big-money offers to move interstate.

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“The (South Queensland) Crushers offered me a contract I could never ever knock back, but I just did because I wanted to stay here,” he said.

“I also saw the future of the Crushers heading the way it ended up.

“A couple of other times I got offered to go back to Queensland, the guys up there who knew I was from there, thinking I would want to come home.”

O’Davis spent 13 seasons at the Knights from 1992-2004 and featured in both of the Club’s famous grand final wins at fullback.

He also played for Australia 10 times and made 12 appearances in a Maroons jersey, making him a valuable target for opposition clubs.

It was a temptation O’Davis resisted until the final year of his career, when a phone call from a Hollywood celebrity tempted him with a move to South Sydney.

“Not until the end, when I got the Russell Crowe offers, did I ever contemplate going anywhere else,” he said.

“It was in 04, when I wasn’t getting any offers and was finished at the Knights, I got the old Russell Crowe phone call.

“I said ‘it sounds great and would set me up for life, but I just couldn’t run onto Marathon Stadium wearing a different colour’. I just couldn’t do it.”

Having knocked back the Rabbitohs’ offer, O’Davis settled into retirement at the conclusion of the 2004 season.

However, in typical O’Davis fashion, he didn’t go quietly.

“I went out kicking and screaming at the age of 32,” he said.

“I was so young and I didn’t think my time was up.

“I did create a bit of havoc by saying I’d play for nothing, which got up everyone’s nose.

“I just didn’t want to play against Newcastle.”