The 1997 season is remembered, mostly, for its dramatic final ten seconds, and rightly so.
However, what’s often not spoken about is the quirky facts and stories that came out of an eventful season for the nib Newcastle Knights.
Here’s ten of the strangest stories that emerged from the Knights’ first premiership season.
The Marc Glanville field goal
It’s not often you see a lock forward kick a field goal, let alone in the circumstances Marc Glanville kicked his in their 29-10 Parramatta in 1997.
Earlier, just before half-time, the more suited Matthew Johns had attempted a shot at one point and aggravated a torn thigh muscle in the process.
As the full-time hooter sounded, Glanville kicked his one and only field goal, and proceeded to give Johns kicking lessons at training throughout the season.
Joey's representative tally
Injury and suspension played their cruel part on Andrew Johns’ ’97 campaign, however that didn’t stop him being selected in representative teams at every opportunity.
In fact, when Johns took the field for Australia in their one-off Test against a Rest of the World side (ironically coached by Mal Reilly), he had played more rep games than he had for the Knights.
Johns ended up playing just nine of the Knights 26 games all season.
Weather playing a cruel role
A little-known fact about 1997 is the normally consistent crowd numbers at Marathon Stadium were well down on all other seasons.
In fact, the average crowd of 14,257 still remains the all-time lowest in Knights history, with bad weather often blamed for the small attendances.
The round 10 game against South Sydney was washed out, while crowds for games against St George, Norths and the Roosters were heavily affected by rain, causing estimated losses of $200,000.
Darren Albert had signed with the Hunter Mariners
The discovery of Albert as a special talent throughout the season saw both the Knights and the man himself backflip on his original agreement to join the Super League-aligned Hunter Mariners.
A hat-trick effort against Western Suburbs in round 17 thrust the Scone product to stardom and kick-started the Knights charge into second position.
Both Albert and the Club immediately began proceedings to get him out of his Super League contract, with both sides desperate for a good outcome.
Leo Dynevor, the unsung hero
At 23, Dynevor had already been on a football odyssey from outback Queensland to London and then Newcastle. After playing second fiddle to Allan Langer in Brisbane, he seemed set to do the same with Andrew Johns.
However, the combined injuries between both Andrew and Matthew Johns saw Dynevor play 19 games, more than double that of Andrew. He also scored more points than any other Knight that season with 104.
While he didn’t play the Grand Final, he was famously given a premiership ring by second rower Steve Crowe.