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Matthew Johns: Creativity, Influence, Trailblazer

His last name is synonymous with the Newcastle Knights.

Matthew Johns was a pivotal figure during the Club's successful years from the mid to late 90's.

Playing alongside his younger brother, Andrew, the pair formed one of the best halves combinations in the Club's history.

Johns made his debut for the Knights coming off the bench in a win against Penrith in 1992.

He played in his first finals game in the Minor Semi-Final of the same year.

'Matty' established himself in the starting side quickly and formed the pairing with his brother, Andrew, over the course of the next seven seasons.

After his first couple of seasons in the top grade, Johns had a breakout year in 1995 which included a run to the Preliminary Final and his selection for NSW and Australia's World Cup winning squad.

The five-eighth made his debut for the Blues in the opening game of the '95 series.

He would go onto play four games in the NSW jumper during his career.

Johns also pulled on the green and gold on nine occassions in which he played four games in the 1995 World Cup campaign.

In Newcastle, Johns continued on taking the rugby league world by storm.

His toughness, creativity and intelligence shone through as Newcastle rose up the ladder.

'Matty' kicked a crucial field goal in the side's 17-12 Preliminary Final win over North Sydney in the 1997 finals series.

The kick sealed the Knights spot in the big dance and as they say, the rest is history.

The history books could've have been rewritten as he also hit the post with a field-goal attempt with the scores tied in the '97 decider.

After the premiership win of '97, Johns played another three seasons in Newcastle before departing to play in England.

He would finish his career with a final season at the Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

Johns played 176 games for the Knights and was named at five-eighth in the Club's Team of the Era (1988-2007).

'Matty' has gone onto have a successful career in the media and has often taught his learnings and skills through halves coaching.

A trailblazer and leader within the Club's first successful sides, Johns was an incredible player in his own right.