Newcastle Men Of Football celebrate 40 years of national league history and remember Jets championship

KB United’s David Jones knows Men of Football’s double Newcastle anniversary celebrations will be a weekend to remember.

LOOKING BACK: Shane Pryce (Breakers), Joel Griffiths (Newcastle Jets) and David Jones (KB United) don their respective jerseys ahead of Men of Football's celebrations. Picture: Simone De Peak

LOOKING BACK: Shane Pryce (Breakers), Joel Griffiths (Newcastle Jets) and David Jones (KB United) don their respective jerseys ahead of Men of Football's celebrations. Picture: Simone De Peak

A win, though, over the Sky Blues, 40 years after an opening home loss to Sydney’s glamour club, would top it off nicely.

Jones will be among the many former players celebrating 40 years of national league football for Newcastle and the 10-year anniversary of the Jets’ A-League grand final win over Central Coast.

The Men of Football, an organisation dedicated to raising funds for those in the game in need, is having a luncheon on Friday, March 2 at Merewether Surfhouse and holding a players’ day function in a corporate box at the Jets versus Sydney FC game the following day at McDonald Jones Stadium to mark the milestones.

Jones, who came from England to be part of Newcastle’s second national league season in 1979, was looking forward to catching up with players from all clubs who represented the region. And he hoped for a bit of revenge.

“KB’s first home game was against Sydney Hakoah [Hakoah Eastern Suburbs] and they were the so-called glamour club of that era,” Jones said. “They had a team of internationals and they beat us 4-1 in front of 15,000.

“Hopefully it’s 4-1 to the Jets this time. But I just hope the Jets win, that will really top the weekend off.”

Jones said “it’s all come together well” for the celebrations, given the second-placed Jets’ success.

“It’s very good now. A lot of teams went to the wall over the years but now the Jets definitely have their act together,” he said.

The March 2 luncheon features a Newcastle football history display and Jets coach Ernie Merrick as guest speaker. Tickets are $100 through ProTicket or contact Brad Robb on 0401 020 716.

All ex-players are welcome at the Jets game function, which carries a $20 fee including gate entry.