Could the Newtown Jets have remained in First Grade?
They’re one of the most famous clubs in rugby league history – and despite not being in the competition’s top flight – the club’s legacy continues to lives on.
On Tuesday, the Newtown Jets celebrated 111 years in rugby league after their first inception in 1908.
Most fans have a soft spot for one of the most iconic clubs in the sport which continues to carry on in the Intrust Super Premiership as a feeder club to the Cronulla Sharks.
The mighty Jets were kicked out of the competition in 1983 after the club went broke – breaking the hearts of players and fans.
Former Jets player Neil Pringle said it “hurt” when he had to leave Newtown due to financial reasons.
“It hurt me very deeply in 1974 when I had to pack my bags and leave because they had no money,” Pringle said.
“I was a young married man at the time and was just starting out in my career and I had to make the decision to leave.
“I was offered contracts from all over Sydney, at that stage I was trying to buy my own house and get started in life.”
Pringle also admitted there was a chance the club could have continued on.
“I honestly believe mismanagement of the club, but I’m not saying anything retributive of the guys that voluntarily worked there at the time,” Pringle said.
“I think they were a little bit misdirected not to go to Campbelltown at the time.
“I was disappointed in it because I would have loved to have seen them live on in another way.
“I would have liked to have seen them go to Newcastle or Perth or wherever as long as the blue bag of the Jets jumper was still running around.
“I didn’t care where they were as long as they were represented because they were a pretty important part of the history of rugby league.”
Fans continue to flock down to the iconic Henson Park to watch the reserve grade side play.
Click ‘play’ to hear the full interview below.