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Mark Hughes: Brave, Adaptable, Inspiring

Brave. Adaptable. Reliable. Resilient. Inspiring.

Mark Hughes was a fan favourite and a loyal custodian to the red and blue.

Following his career, 'Boozy' has continued to inspire people by establishing an incredible foundation tackling brain cancer.

During his playing days at the Newcastle Knights, the local junior enjoyed a successful career, becoming a dual-premiership winner and an Origin representative.

The Kurri Kurri Bulldogs junior made his debut for his hometown Club in a memorable rookie season.

The outside back earned his first chance off the bench in Round 9 of 1997, scoring a try in his maiden appearance for the red and blue.

Hughes played a crucial role in the triumphant '97 team having played 17 games across the season, including the famous Grand Final against the Manly Sea Eagles.

Not a bad way to start your NRL career.

'Boozy' continued to impress with his wholehearted performances and versatility.

Before establishing himself in the centres, Hughes played many positions across the backline, including fullback and wing.

A reliable figure in the successful sides of the late 90's to early 2000's, Hughes became a dual-premiership winner within five seasons in the NRL after the Grand Final victory over the Parramatta Eels in 2001.

His combinations with Knights greats, including Andrew Johns and Danny Buderus, and his reliability and experience in big games made him ideal for the representative arena.

Hughes earned his first NSW Blues jersey in the premiership-winning year of 2001.

Further showcasing his versatility, the man from Kurri Kurri played all three games of the series at fullback. 

Injuries hampered Hughes in the latter stages of his career and limited his representative appearances.

The centre continued for his beloved Knights and went onto make 161 appearances in the red and blue scoring 66 tries, the ninth most in Knights history.

The fan-favourite departed the Club in 2005 and spent a season with the Catalans Dragons in the Super League before retiring.

Having exhibited toughness and bravery throughout his playing career, Hughes' biggest fight was yet to come.

Hughes was diagnosed with brain cancer in 2013 and underwent chemotherapy and radiation treatment.

Testament to his character, the former Knight fought off the cancer and subsequently set up the Mark Hughes Foundation to raise funds and awareness to support brain cancer patients and their families.

Today, the foundation has raised over $20 million tackling brain cancer with the NRL's 'Beanie for Brain Cancer Round' a huge success each year.

Hughes' awe-inspiring efforts on and off the field is perhaps a fitting representation of one of the Club's all-time greatest figures.