New Knights coach Adam O'Brien a hit with Men of League lunch crowd

LUNCH FOR A CAUSE: From left: Men of League's well-being officer Jessica Macartney, Johnny Lewis, Knights coach Adam O'Brien and Port Stephens branch president Chris Kelly. Picture: Supplied
LUNCH FOR A CAUSE: From left: Men of League's well-being officer Jessica Macartney, Johnny Lewis, Knights coach Adam O'Brien and Port Stephens branch president Chris Kelly. Picture: Supplied

Around 250 people attended the Port Stephens Men of League kick-off and fundraising day held at Soldiers Point Bowling Club last Friday.

The Newcastle Knights old boys were there in numbers to support the charity foundation and to honour former Newcastle Knights board member Leigh Maughan, one of the founding fathers of the Knights who received an OAM for his services to rugby league and was a leading sports reporter on television and radio.

The event also recognised the work of Allan Bell, the mastermind behind the Knights in their formative years with the mantra of 'our team our town' and who continues to help up and coming young players.

Among the ex-players who attended were Mark Sargent, Brad Godden, Ken Maddison, Bruce Walker and Dean Carney, in addition to former Newcastle hardmen Peter Johnson, Mark Glanville and Tony Butterfield, who conducted an excellent interview with Australian boxing hall of famer Johnny Lewis.

The ABC's Craig Hamilton's interview with new Knights coach Adam O'Brien left everyone in the room convinced that this humble young man who has had Craig Bellemy and Trent Robinson as mentors will deliver for the Newcastle Knights fans.

Also in attendance was Jack Newton, who won tournaments all over the world before suffering a nasty accident and is now a major benefactor for junior golf and Diabetes Australia.

Those who supported the "feel good day" were very generous to the Men of League cause with raffle and auction items well supported.

Comedy for the day was provided by "Out There' auctioneer Sean Chaffer and famed comedian Isaac Butterfield.

"On behalf of the Port Stephens Men of League we would like to offer our sincere thanks to everyone who was part of this most enjoyable and successful day," added Allan Bell.

The next major Port Stephens Men of League event will be the golf weekend in Nelson Bay.

Held in May each year, the fund-raising weekend, now entering its 11th year, consists of a dinner with prestigious guest speakers on the Saturday night and a golf day at Nelson Bay Golf Club on the Sunday.