Don’t you ever let a chance go by, O Lord

Back in 1975, a young fella named Bob Hudson wrote The Newcastle Song.
It’s about young blokes in Newcastle and how they used to cruise the main street, trying to pick up sheilas with great pick up lines like “g’day”.
Newcastle always was and probably always will be a working class city.
Famous for it’s coal mines and manufacturing industries, it has suffered its fair share of setbacks over the years, from mining disasters, to floods, to earthquakes and factory shut downs.
But the Novocastrian spirit always bounced back.
Key to that spirit has always been their love of sport, in particular, rugby league.
Bob Hudson . . . in pickup mode.

Newcastle actually played in the first two years of the NSW Rugby League competition in 1908 and 1909, before withdrawing to form its own local competition in 1910.

Rugby league flows through the veins of the people from the Hunter, and in 1988, they were readmitted to the premier competition, being crowned premiers in 1997 and 2001.
Some other sports have tried in Newcastle but have failed to gain national results.
In 1979, Newcastle was key to the formation of the NBL in Australia, through the Newcastle Storm Falcons.
After 20 years without a championship, the club folded in 1999, due to financial problems.
Then, in 2003-04, the Canberra Cannons relocated to Newcastle as the Hunter Pirates. At the end of 2005-06, they withdrew from the NBL.
There has been to push to include a team from Newcastle into Cricket’s Big Bash, but so far nothing has materialised.
newcastle song
Bob Hudson

And then there’s the Newcastle Jets soccer team. They were formed in 2000 and entered the A-League in 2005/06.

They won the Championship in 2007-08, but it has been lean times ever since.
They have picked up a couple of wooden spoons and haven’t made the playoffs for more years than a proud Novocastrian cares to think about.
But this year could be different. Ernie Merrick has the city buzzing with an attractive attacking style of play.
I flicked over towards the end of their semi final win last Friday, and was struck by how, after full time, Riley McGree, who had earlier scored a miracle goal with his scorpion kick, was slowly making his way around the ground, chatting to any fan who wanted to have chat and being the central figure in countless selfies with fans.
And so, on Saturday night, in front of a sellout crowd of about 33,000, the Jets take on Melbourne Victory in the grand final, hoping to restore some sporting pride to the Hunter.
I hope Ernie Merrick plays Bob Hudson’s Newcastle Song to the players during training this week, and I hope they heed the sage advice of Normie, the hero of the song.
“Don’t you ever let a chance go by, O Lord, don’t you ever let a chance go by.”
And remember, there’s no such thing as too much sport!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *