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Steve Simpson: Durable, Reliable, Stalwart

How else could you possibly describe Steve Simpson?

He was never the flashiest, fastest or most devastating player to don the red and blue jumper. But there was one thing that set him apart from everyone else.

Hard work.

Allan McMahon's famous motto, 'be the player everyone wants to play with', was perhaps typified no better by anyone other than Simpson.

A life member of the Club, Simpson played all 216 of his NRL games for the Knights.

In each and every one of those games, he gave his absolute all.

He personified the Club's culture. A local junior who always punched well above his weight.

Debuting in 1999, it took Simpson just two years to earn his first representative jersey.

By 2002, he was a premiership winner, Origin player and Kangaroo.

He even famously crossed for a four pointer in the '01 Grand Final and made one of the great try saving tackles on a charging Andrew Ryan.

But it was the hearts and minds of the Novocastrian faithful that Simpson won over first.

Comfortable on the edge or in the middle of the park, Simpson always ripped in and gave it his all.

Not only did he rip and tear in the middle, he also formed lethal combinations with Andrew Johns and Danny Buderus which were feared across the NRL.

You only had to see the tribute he earned upon his retirement to see how adored he was at Turton Road.

Simpson was chaired off McDonald Jones Stadium after he called time on his career due to ongoing injuries.

Even though he's been out of the game for over a decade, Simpson was awarded life membership at the 2021 Awards Evening, which he accepted remotely from his home in Maitland.

And the fans won't forget him anytime soon.