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Bill Peden: Tough, Fair, Legend

"The sun even shines on a dog's bum sometimes."

These were the famous words uttered by Bill Peden after he, you know, scored two tries in a Grand Final and won his second premiership.

It typified the player Peden was. Unassuming, hard working, a man who quietly went about his business of doing everything he could for his fellow troops.

Growing up alongside the Johns brothers in Cessnock, Peden wasn't picked up by the Knights until he was 24 years-of-age.

It was actually the recommendation of Matty Johns, alongside Cessnock coach Steve Fulmer that lined up Peden's trial.

Peden ripped in over the '93-94 pre-season and was offered a contract in reserve grade.

They won the second tier competition in '95, with Peden playing a key role in the campaign, while also notching 15 appearances in first grade.

The '96 and '97 seasons served as a breakout period for the back-rower, who was instrumental to the Knights turning from a respected side of toilers to genuine premiership contenders.

In '97, they went from contenders to premiers.

Many forget that Peden actually started the Grand Final at hooker, and looked more than comfortable on Rugby League's biggest stage.

After getting his taste of premiership glory, Peden remained his consistent best for the remainder of his career.

Not to mention he was also a fine goal kicker, finishing his career at 65%.

Prelim finals came and went in 1998 and 2000, before glory came again on that night in 2001.

Peden crossed for two tries that night and was unlucky to be pipped to the Clive Churchill Medal by Andrew Johns, the greatest player of all time who was at the height of his powers.

Peden's career in Newcastle ended 12 months later, finishing up in 2002 before playing a season with London.

Post retirement, he was named in the Cessnock team of the century and remains one of the most revered figures in Knights history.

Not that you'd know it.

Peden remains quietly spoken and impeccably humble, just as he did in his playing days.