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KNIGHTS // HQ Legends: Owen Craigie

We're back for another edition of KNIGHTS // HQ Legends as we sit down with former fan favourite, proud Gamilaroi man and still the youngest player ever to debut for the nib Newcastle Knights, Owen Craigie.

Hailing from Tingha in the heart of north-western NSW with a population of just over 800 people, 300 back in the 90's, a young Owen was given the opportunity to come down to Newcastle as a teenager. Listen now on Apple or Spotify

Dubbed one of the most freakish talents in his junior years, Craigie turned heads immediately in the lower grades before first grade came calling.

The former centre earned his start in front of a packed Marathon Stadium against none other than the fearsome, Brisbane Broncos at 17 years of age, all the while still attending St. Francis Xavier College at Hamilton.

Coming off the bench, Owen recounted the incredible experience on the KNIGHTS // HQ Podcast.

"I was at SFX (St Francis Xavier College) in year 11, and we played schoolboy football on the Friday," Craigie said.

"I played reggies (reserve grade) on that Sunday, and then after that, Allan McMahon said 'we'll put you on the bench and debut you against the Broncos.'

"I wasn't so much excited in the fact that we were playing the Broncos, it was the fact that I was playing my idol, Steve Renouf.

"Dave Morley turned around with his microphone and said, 'Owie, up, you're on'. My guts just dropped straightaway, and all of a sudden you just grow another level, so you're not a kid anymore and you've got to match it with these men.

"I get up on the sideline, and they said 'grab, Ash. Ash Gordon'. And I thought another one of my idols. So Ash come off and he said 'good luck'. Slapped my hand and I ran on. 

"It was the greatest feeling of all time, beside my kids being born.

"38,000 poeple back then, they shut the gate at half-time of reggies. Newcastle was Newcastle.

"All you can hear is the chant, the bloke (that was) next to me, I couldn't even hear him."

The Knights would claim a huge 32-10 win against one of the premiership heavyweights.

"Rocking up to the school the next day, it was mad," Craigie said.

On this episode, 'guess that game' makes a return as we quiz Owen on some of the biggest games of his career including that debut in 1995 and a memorable Preliminary Final against North Sydney en route to the Grand Final in 1997.

Craigie played a key role in the run to the premiership in that famous season as we talk about playing for the Club during those years.

Labelled the most naturally talented player he ever played with by Andrew Johns, the now 45-year-old spoke about playing alongside 'Joey' and many of his former teammates.

Owen also opened up on life post footy and the tremendous work in the community he has been doing recently.

Alongside former Knight and teammate Adam Muir, the pair helped form Ur Bucket List, which provides support services to families with disabilities.

The service stretches from Newcastle, the Central Coast and Sydney through to Brisbane and the Gold Coast.

We round out with talking all about the new community service he provides, his passion for community and Ur Bucket List's fast growth over the last few months.