While the nib Newcastle Knights were built on developing local juniors into amazing players (e.g The Johns brothers, Mark Hughes and Kurt Gidley) but they've also made some terrific signings over the course of their history.
While the Knights are known for developing some of the greatest talents to ever play the game, every club recruits players.
The Knights are no exception and over the years, they’ve signed some exceptional performers.
Here's the top 10 best recruits in Knights history.
*Note: Current players were not considered for selection!
Ben Kennedy (Signed from the Canberra Raiders)
Debuting for the Raiders in 1996, Kennedy became a Knights legend over his five seasons in red and blue.
A true enforcer and bonified winner, Kennedy scored a try in the Knights 2001 Grand Final win and led the team in four extremely successful seasons. He was also a staple of both the New South Wales and Australian sides over that time.
His departure to Manly in 2005 coincided with the Knights falling to the wooden spoon that season.
Mark Sargent (Signed from the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Starting his career with three seasons at Canterbury in 1986, Sargent became one of the Knights first big signings when he moved north in 1989.
Sargent’s impressive performances saw him earn both Origin and Test honours for his country.
After seven seasons and a stint as the Club’s football manager, he is now a Hall of Fame member and one of the Knights’ most decorated Old Boys.
Mick Hagan (Signed from the Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs)
Another one of the Club’s first big signings, Hagan moved north with Sargent in 1989 after starring in the Bulldogs 1988 premiership win.
He was the Knights No.7 for five seasons before his retirement at the conclusion of 1993. He returned to the Club as Coach in 2001, winning a premiership in his first season.
His impressive win record saw him become the Queensland Origin Coach in 2004.
Tony Butterfield (Signed from Penrith Panthers)
While he played the vast majority of his career with the Knights, his first grade journey began with Penrith in in 1986.
The prop joined the inaugural Knights team for 1988 and remained with the Club for 13 seasons.
He retired in 2000 as the club's most capped player – a record he later surrendered to Andrew Johns.
Beau Scott (Signed from the St George Illawarra Dragons
In just three seasons in red and blue, Beau Scott impressed to the point where it could be argued he played the best football of his career in Newcastle.
He led the Knights to a fairy-tale preliminary final appearance in 2013, before being one of the Club’s most consistent performers in a couple of tough seasons.
He was greatly missed when he departed for Parramatta in 2016.
Dane Gagai (Signed from the Brisbane Broncos)
Signed from Brisbane with just six games under his belt in 2012, Gagai was developed into an Origin and Test winger in his six seasons in Newcastle.
While the side struggled for the back-half of his time at the Club, Gagai was arguably the teams’ best for the vast majority of his tenure.
Matt Parsons (Signed from the South Sydney Rabbitohs)
While he didn’t receive the accolades of some of his teammates, Parsons was an invaluable cog in the Knights forward pack in the successful years that were the early 2000s.
Signed from the Rabbitohs in 2000 after being named Dally M Prop of the Year, Parsons led the Knights pack to Grand Final glory in 2001 and was missed enormously after his retirement in 2004.
Marc Glanville (Signed from the St George Dragons)
After two seasons at St George where he struggled for game time, Glanville was one of the Knights first signings when they entered the competition in 1988.
He found his home in the Knights jersey, becoming a fan favourite due to his consistent performances over his 10 seasons spent in the red and blue.
He was both a forward pack enforcer and larrikin off the field, before ending his career with a fairy-tale Grand Final win in 1997.
Sam Stewart (Signed from New Zealand)
He was the Club's first ever captain.
Playing in New Zealand prior to the Club’s inception into the NSWRL competition in 1988, Stewart joined the Club and led by example.
After six seasons, Stewart finished with 72 top grade games to his name and become the Clubs first life member.
Adam MacDougall (Signed from the Sydney Roosters)
It’s a little-known fact that Adam MacDougall actually made his first-grade debut for who were then known as the Sydney City Roosters in 1995, playing six games.
He was signed to the Knights as a virtual unknown, before forging a legendary career in his two stints in red and blue.
The man known as ‘Mad Dog’ was a fan favourite, becoming the Knights third highest try scorer and sixth highest point scorer across his 12 seasons in Newcastle.
Jeremy Smith (Signed from Cronulla Sharks)
Matt Hilder (Signed from the Gold Coast Titans)
Brian Carney (signed from Wigan in the Super League)
Neville Costigan (Signed from St George Illawarra)
Shaun Kenny-Dowall (Signed from the Roosters)
Willie Mason (Free agent)