Rugby league fans have joined together to raise money to build a statue of Newcastle Knights, NSW Blues and Australian Kangaroos captain and eighth Immortal Andrew Johns at McDonald Jones stadium.
Led by local solicitor Karlo Tychsen and businessman Andrew Hughes, of A-Plus Contracting, the supporters group has set up a Go Fund Me page to raise an initial sum of $50,000 to fund the project.
The group is approaching local businesses, but their primary focus is a grassroots campaign, allowing all members of the community to contribute to what will be a Newcastle landmark.
"We as a city should have a place to pay tribute to the fact that the greatest rugby league player of all time is one of our own," Tychsen said.
"There is a statue of Wally Lewis in Brisbane and there's going to be one of Johnathan Thurston in Townsville.
"Other sports have commemorated their greats - and rightly so, because legends deserve to be commemorated - let's pay just tribute to ours!"
Hughes agreed with Tychsen's sentiments and said that the Go Fund Me page had made it very real for him that a statue should be built for Johns.
"We love 'Joey' and we want something for our kids and future generations to take inspiration from," Hughes said.
Tychsen and Hughes believe that not only would the statue create a landmark for visitors, but could be the first of many commemorative landmarks in recognition of the Hunter's rich sporting history, which would further boost the region's flourishing tourism industry.
Dr Grant Morgan, Hunter Volunteer Centre chairperson said he was supportive of volunteers who take ownership of projects, because they show a true passion and commitment to achieving strong outcomes for their communities."
Those not in a position to make a financial contribution can sign a change.org petition and follow updates on the group's Facebook page.