Pokolbin-based ex chairman of the Newcastle Knights Brian McGuigan has offered to do all he can to help the Abermain-Weston Hawks after their clubhouse was destroyed by fire.
Mr McGuigan was contacted by Fairfax Media last week and, upon hearing the plight of the embattled club, was quick to offer in-principle support to keep the club afloat.
He said that he was eager to sit down with representatives of the club, including President Ray Foster, to see what could be done.
“I really want to give these guys a hand,” he said. “It’s just terrible what’s happened. I want to have a sit down and work out a program – to see what I can do to help out.”
Mr Foster said he was over the moon with the in-principle support shown by Mr McGuigan.
“It’s just a fantastic result,” he said. “The local community and the rugby league fraternity are always very quick to jump in and help out when someone is down and out.”
Mr McGuigan got the ball rolling immediately on Tuesday, putting a call in to current Newcastle Knights CEO Phil Gardner asking if the club could reimburse a number of signed Knights balls that were lost in the fire.
Mr Gardner said that he would be more than happy to indulge Mr McGuigan’s request.
Further, the former Chief Executive of Australian Rugby League John Quayle has also offered to do what he can to help the club.
In a case of “it’s a small world”, Mr Quayle was coached as an 18-year-old by Mr Foster’s brother Bernie in Manilla, New South Wales.
Mr Foster said he decided to touch base with Mr Quayle to see if there was anything he could do.
He added that Mr Quayle said that he would be willing to do what he could and instructed Mr Foster to formalise a request for assistance in a letter that he would forward to appropriate parties.
After qualifying for the grand final on Saturday, August 25, the club was left heartbroken when its clubhouse was destroyed by a deliberately-lit fire the following Monday night.
Tragically, Mr Foster said the club lost virtually all of its equipment including line markers, tackling bags, and canteen equipment.
“It was just heartbreaking, but to see the support is really great,” he said.