KEITH T. DENNENT | Sport | Contact

A proud Novacastrian has been asked to take off his rose-coloured glasses today as he yearns for years of old.

After watching the NRL take the Bunnies, Broncos, Roosters and the league’s most hated team, Manly, on a giant pre-season bender in Vegas, Robbie O’Gidley (38) of Denman says his beloved Knights were unlucky to miss out.

“It’s all about politics hey, the NRL just cherry picking the teams that have big money behind them,” Gidley told The Advocate over the phone this week.

“The Broncos went cos they’re owned by NewsCorp and the Bunnies went because they’ve got Hollywood connections and they love to force feed celebs like Oprah and Snoop Dog a hat every time they come on a press tour down under.”

“Manly got an invite because of Hugh Jackman, who’s such a true fan he never even turned up, and the Roosters went because their fans have the cash to go on a $15,000 trip to Vegas, but wouldn’t be bothered to walk to Moore Park for a regular game.”

“If my Knights still had big money Tinkler driving the coal ship, we would’ve been there!”

Robbie is of course referring to the infamous ex-mining magnate Nathan Tinkler, a Hunter Valley electrician who struck literal black gold in the early 2000’s and became Australia’s youngest billionaire by 2010.

The meteoric rise to BRW’s Rich List ignited a cash splash bonanza, leading Tinkler to buy both the Newcastle Knights and the Jets and more racehorses than a Qatar Sheikh, because what else do you do when you’re a Hunter Valley bogan with enough money to buy a small country.

Eventually Tinkler’s foray into owning sports teams was incredibly ill-fated, and half the reason why the Knights have multiple wooden spoons in their trophy cupboard.

“Yeah sure he totally f*cked us and the years after were a total shitshow, but would I trade in those three consecutive spoons to see my mighty Knights run out in Vegas?”

“Yeah you’re right, probably not.”


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