THEY didn’t come much tougher on the footy field than former Waratah-Mayfield, Canterbury, NSW Country and NSW lock Mike Trypas.
But ‘‘Tryppa’’ showed his soft side in an emotional farewell with colleagues at the Newcastle Herald on Friday afternoon.
The big man had a steady supply of tissues coming his way as he called full-time on his career in the Herald’s advertising department.
His 40 years on the job made him the paper’s longest-serving current employee.
Tryppa, pictured above with cartoonist Peter Lewis, was a regular visitor to the Herald sport department.
The thoughts and perspectives of the ‘‘Old Bull’’ on rugby league and life in general were always appreciated and will be missed.
All the best for a well earned retirement, Tryppa.
THE hunt is on for the 35 men who represented the Knights in their inaugural year to take centre stage at Newcastle’s 2015 NRL season-opener against the Warriors at Hunter Stadium.
The game was scheduled for a 4.30pm kick-off on Saturday, March 7, when the NRL issued the draw last Monday, allowing Knights and Once-A-Knight Old Boys officials to proceed with plans to host a reunion of the 1988 ‘‘originals’’ for the first game of the new season.
The Old Boys hatched that plan as part of a strategy to help the Knights reconnect with the community.
‘‘It’s worked out well, with the 4.30 Saturday afternoon kick-off, especially being against the Warriors, so that should all fit in nicely for that first home game to drive a bit of emotion,’’ Knights director of football and former coach and captain Michael Hagan said.
Old Boys president John Laut, the 1988 team manager, said Hagan and Knights coach Rick Stone had supported the idea from the outset.
There have also been preliminary discussions about an after-match function for fans to attend, and for some of the Old Boys to join the current squad at training the day before the game.
‘‘At this stage, I couldn’t see any reason now why it won’t go ahead,’’ Laut said.
‘‘I know Rick Stone and Michael Hagan see this as very important and something they want to see happen, so now we’re just endeavouring to pull it all together and we’re trying to get the ball rolling before Christmas.’’
Laut has made contact with some of the club’s New Zealand players from that season, including foundation skipper Sam Stewart, James Goulding, George Mann, Tony Kemp, Charlie McAlister and Tea Ropati.
‘‘With the New Zealand connection we had in that first team, it’s rather fitting that this first game of the season will be against the Warriors,’’ Laut said.
Laut has given hooker Tony Townsend the job of finding former outside back Brian Quinton, who has lost contact with the Old Boys committee.
The Knights used 36 players that season, but prop Adrian Shelford, who played five games that year, died of a heart attack in England in 2003, aged 39.
FORMER Knights fullback Darius Boyd is now an outside chance of making a return to Hunter Stadium with former Newcastle coach Wayne Bennett and the Broncos next season.
When Boyd tore his Achilles tendon at training this month, it was feared he would be sidelined for nine months and miss almost the entire 2015 season, but after surgery last week he now hopes to back in six and play a part in State of Origin.
In an article posted on the Broncos website last week, Boyd said he hoped to be playing again in late May or early June.
The Knights host Brisbane at Hunter Stadium on Monday, May 25, two days before the first game of the Origin series at ANZ Stadium on May 27.
Should he have returned by then and proved his fitness to Maroons coach Mal Meninga, Boyd will miss that game because he and any other Origin players will be stood down.
But if he is only just finding his feet with an eye towards Origin games two and three, that could indeed be a possible comeback match for the enigmatic 27-year-old international.
‘‘I won’t really know for sure until I get up walking and running, but I think six months is realistic,’’ Boyd said in the article. ‘‘I spoke to the anaesthetist before the op and he said the tendon wasn’t too badly torn apart, so that was good to hear.’’
KNIGHTS winger James McManus is settling into fatherhood.
McManus and wife Eshia welcomed their first daughter, Emelyn Aisla, nine weeks ago.
‘‘Like any new parent, you have your good nights and your rough nights, and just when you feel like you’re starting to get yourself together, they go and change it up on you,’’ McManus said.
‘‘But she’s great. I’m a lucky man, so I couldn’t be happier.’’
McManus, whose mother Rosemary and stepfather Rod Mackrill have moved from the Northern Territory to Newcastle to be closer to him and his young family, said he would spend Emelyn’s first Christmas at home.
ROLLER-COASTER is the only way to describe the week of former Jets winger Craig Goodwin.
The one-time KFC employee had to sit out Adelaide’s 1-0 FFA Cup final triumph over Perth Glory on Tuesday, his 23th birthday, because he had played for the Jets in the early rounds.
Recalled to the Adelaide starting side for the battle against the Jets on Friday night, Goodwin bobbed up with an equaliser only for Jeronimo to grab a late winner for his former side.
THE retirement of NBN television sports guru and man with the best moustache in the business Mike Rabbitt took most, including Sidelines, by surprise.
Rabbs has covered, called, promoted or been at every major sporting event from the Hawkesbury to the Tweed in the past 30 years.
It didn’t seem right that he would sign off without a fitting farewell.
The folk at NBN helped Rabbs celebrate his career with a shindig after his final shift this month.
The rest of the Hunter’s sport fans now have an opportunity to do likewise.
The Newcastle Jockey Club will host a ‘‘farewell to Mike Rabbitt’’ at its Australia Day weekend race meeting on January 24.
Rabbs will host a function in the pavilion. The cost is $1350 for a table of 10, which includes food and drinks.
Proceeds go to Rabbs’ favourite charity, the Westpac rescue chopper.
Contact the NJC for details.
NEWCASTLE City have had little to celebrate this summer.
One win in 10 rounds has left the club equal last with Waratah-Mayfield on the Newcastle district cricket first-grade ladder.
But seamer Rhys Gallen gave the City boys a much-needed boost on Saturday when he claimed a hat-trick against Charlestown.
Gallen had Jackson Mace caught behind for a duck and skipper Dane Macourt leg before first ball.
He completed the hat-trick when he bowled Chris Rendina with the first ball of his third over.
The hat-trick left Charlestown 3-0.
They fell to 4-3 when Gallen dismissed Daniel Arms.
But Charlestown (5-93) recovered to win the match by five wickets.
Gallen finished with 4-15 off 10 overs.