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Alex McKinnon: Unwavering, Talented, Inspiring

Unwavering. Uncompromising. Talented. Inspiring.

These are just a few of many words that come to mind when discussing Alex McKinnon.

At home at centre or the back row, McKinnon arrived at the Knights in 2012 after opting to follow Wayne Bennett to the Club after debuting for St George Illawarra a year earlier.

Growing up in the small rural town of Aberdeen, deep in the Hunter Valley, McKinnon was a standout junior who was picked up by the Dragons in 2008.

After three years in the Toyota Cup, McKinnon was named in the 2011 NYC Team of the Year in second row.

Such was his talent, McKinnon crossed for two tries in his NRL debut against the Gold Coast.

The following year, McKinnon followed Wayne Bennett to the Knights, making 24 appearances and instantly becoming a fan favourite for just how hard he competed on every play.

12 months on, McKinnon played a major role in guiding the Knights back into the finals, with the Club falling just one game shy of a historic grand final appearance.

His versatility as a lock, back rower or centre, along with his toughness and aggression were reasons why he was adored and adopted as a through and through Knight, even though he debuted on the opposite end of the M1.

Even after his career-ending injury in 2014, McKinnon hasn't stopped giving back to the Club and region he loves.

As a senior member of the Knights recruitment team, McKinnon has played a key role in discovering and securing the services some of the country's most exciting talent, as well as British guns Dom Young and Bailey Hodgson.

His unbreakable spirit and determination captured the hearts and minds of the entire nation post his retirement in 2014.

The local football ground in his home town of Aberdeen now bares his name, as does the trophy played for when the Knights face the Dragons for the first time each year.

His voice and opinions also rank amongst the most respected in the NRL.

On the home front, Alex is married to the stunning Teigan McKinnon. The couple have three daughters - Harriet, Audrey and Violet.

There isn't anyone in the game with a bad word to say about Alex McKinnon, whether it be about his 49 NRL games or the years he's spent involved off it.

And that's exactly the way it should be.