Newcastle are possibly the hardest team to predict in 2022 with their halves quandary, Kalyn Ponga’s fluctuations and their inconsistency over the past two seasons adding up to a side whose results could vary wildly.
The Knights suffered a massive loss and heartbreak to exit the finals. The pain is very fresh and it was a tough pill to swallow.
We had complete control then just threw it away. I believe we will improve but for now, us fans are feeling the fresh pain.
I asked a number of friends who also go for the Knights a very important question: What do the Newcastle Knights mean to the town and their fans? I have asked, they have answered and given me permission to put their names there, so without further ado, here we go.
What do the Newcastle Knights mean to the town and their fans?
“During the years when BHP was closing and the earthquake hit the town really looked for something to bring joy, positivity and pride back to the town. That’s what the Knights gave. Not so much in the spoon years, the Knights were the pride of the hunter.
“You couldn’t mention Newcastle without Knights being added to it. A proud working town with a love for its local footy team. Knights are more than a footy team in this town and they always will be.” – Shaun Lazenby
“It’s their pride and joy. Our fans are the most loyal ones out there through thick and thin, highs and lows. We showed up week in week out cheering the boys on. Without the fans there is no team.” – Renee Ireland
“For me, following the Knights is like a religion. Newcastle is a city I love. I’ve always lived here and will hopefully never leave.” – Dylan Watkins
“They mean everything to this great city. They mean absolutely everything to me I live and breathe this great club and will always stick by them in the good or bad.” – Damian McFarland
“The Knights are the blood of Newcastle. I feel like our team is a badge of honour. From a very young age, I followed the Knights, watched them win not only their first grand final in 1997 but also their second in 2001. I can remember every weekend sitting with my nan, cheering the Knights on with her.” – Jared Butler
“For me, it goes all the way back to ’88, where a team from a blue-collar working-class town went down to the Sydney comp to mix it with the big boys.
“They knew the odds were stacked against them, but they still put in and battled. Today I think it’s a similar story – the old saying “NSW stops at the Hawkesbury River” represents that Newcastle and the Hunter are not on a level playing field with Sydney when it comes to getting resources, and the town has to battle for its fair share.
“To me the town looks to the footy team as a reflection of the town’s position in the broader scheme of things – the battlers struggling and fighting against the odds against the bigger, more influential Sydney teams. You can’t separate the Knights and Newcastle/Hunter because they have identical DNA.” – Daniel Turner
“The team means everything to the supporters and through tough times like COVID. Watching the Knights play was a way to escape it all Knights fans are die-hard fans that turn up in rain hail or shine in numbers. The team is a huge part of the supporters’ lives, you won’t find more passionate supporters than the Knights supporters.” – Dean Smith
They all answered this question and I found them very deep and moving but there’s one more answer I have to share. My own:
The Newcastle Knights are the lifeblood of my beloved town. You can’t mention Newcastle without talking about the Knights. As a fan, I loved all the three-hour train trips from Penrith to Newcastle to watch my team play. It’s not just because I spend three hours listening to heavy metal, it’s because I spend three hours in excitement ready to watch my team play.
The 90 minutes I spent getting the Knights logo on my right shoulder were worth it. Being a Knights supporter isn’t a hobby, it’s a way of life for me whether watching them play, chanting Newcastle or the travels, it’s just phenomenal.
I’m writing this to my fellow fans to let them know just because we didn’t win doesn’t mean we’re a failure of a team. We’re on the rise and we will keep on rising. When we win our next premiership, all this pain and suffering will be worth it. It’s a new era now.
As time goes on, we will be heavyweights once again and to all the teams who think we’re going to remain pushovers, in the immortal words of Judas Priest “you’ve got another thing coming”.