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'It's our Grand Final week': Hughes on Beanies Round journey

Every year, the NRL and wider community come together to support a cause close to everyone's hearts.

Clubs, players, members and supporters will don a beanie this week for Beanie for Brain Cancer Round to help tackle brain cancer, in support of the Mark Hughes Foundation (MHF).

For the nib Newcastle Knights, this special week on the rugby league calendar hits right at home.

Named after Club legend and dual premiership winner, Mark Hughes, the Foundation hopes to sell its one millionth beanie this weekend.

Mark 'Boozy' Hughes joined the KNIGHTS // HQ Podcast, the Official Podcast of the Newcastle Knights, to talk about this year's round and the journey it's been on since the Foundation started in 2014. Listen on Apple or Spotify.

"It's just a huge week, everywhere I look there is support," Hughes said on the KNIGHTS // HQ Podcast.

"You drive around the streets of Newcastle and there is beanies.

"We got a small team at the Mark Hughes Foundation who work so hard, but this is like our Grand Final week.

"It's been an amazing journey starting right here in Newcastle.

"From there, when the NRL took over seven years ago as far as the Beanie for Brain Cancer (Round), it just took it to new levels.

"We've raised over $30 million which is a lot of money. We've got brain cancer care nurses across NSW who are doing a super job.

"But our main focus is the research... we've just got to find the answers."

Funded the millions of dollars raised by the Foundation, the newly-built Mark Hughes Foundation Centre for Brain Cancer Research at the University of Newcastle is a research centre driven towards improving the lives of people with brain cancer today and increasing survival rates in the future.

Also, the Big Three Trek is back for 2023 and will run alongside Beanie for Brain Cancer Round, with 63 trekkers walking from McDonald Jones Stadium to 4 Pines Park in Manly across three days raising funds and awareness for MHF.

In Australia, Brain Cancer kills more children than any other disease and more people under 40 than any other cancer. 

Supporters are being urged to help raise much needed funds by buying a beanie or donating to the Mark Hughes Foundation.

To buy a beanie, support the cause or find out any more information head to

Also on this week's episode, 'Hughesy' shared stories from yesteryear as we play 'Guess that Game, quizzing Mark on some of the biggest games from his career.

Mark also told the story of how he earned the nickname 'Boozy' which included a memorable story including former legendary Captain, Paul Harragon.

We also answer some of the fan questions sent in via our Instagram story as Hughes discussed some of the most inspiring stories he's witnessed since starting the Foundation.