The Knockout was never simply about football, it was about family, it was about community.

Who started it and why?

The Knockout was initiated by six men affiliated with the team they formed, Koorie United: Bob Smith, Bob Morgan, Bill Kennedy, Danny Rose, Victor Wright and the late George Jackson.

The Knockout was intended to provide a stage for the many and very talented Aboriginal footballers playing at the time who, for reasons of racism and lack of country-based recruitment were overlooked by the talent scouts. While the football was a big part of the Knockout, there were other important priorities that sustained the gatherings, as Morgan says,

The Knockout was never simply about football, it was about family, it was about community, it was getting people to come together and enjoy and celebrate things, rather than win the competition football.

For an event that started out in 1971 where they hand-drew A4 cardboard signs that were sticky-taped on poles around Redfern, the nomination fee was $5.00 and the winner ‘took all’ of the $35 prize money!  The annual NSW Rugby League Knockout carnival has grown over its 45-year history to become one of the largest gatherings of Aboriginal people and communities from all over NSW.

Knockout Winners

2016

Redfern All-Blacks

2015

Redfern All-Blacks

2014

Walgett Aboriginal Connection

2013

Newcastle Yowies

2012

Newcastle Yowies

2011

Mindaribba Warriors

2010

Walgett Aboriginal Connection

2009

BAC Walgett

2008

Narwan Eels

2007

Wollumbin Warriors

2006

Cec Patten-Ron Merritt Memorial RAB

2005

Cec Patten-Ron Merritt Memorial RAB

2004

Cec Patten-Ron Merritt Memorial RAB

2003

Cec Patten-Ron Merritt Memorial RAB

2002

Moree Boomerangs / La Perouse Panthers

2001

Narwan Eels / La Perouse Panthers

2000

Narwan Eels / Louis St Dodgers

1999

Nambucca Valley Rams

1998

Wellington Wedge tails

1997

Nambucca Valley Rams

1996

Nambucca Valley Rams

1995

Bourke Weilmoringle

1994

Toomelah Tigers

1993

Redfern All Blacks

1992

Redfern All Blacks

1991

La Perouse All Blacks

1990

BAC Walgett

1989

BAC Walgett

1988

BAC Walgett

1987

Newcastle All Blacks

1986

Narwan Eels

1985

Moree Boomerangs

1984

Koorie United

1983

Dubbo Pacemakers

1982

Zetland

1981

Zetland

1980

Narwan Eels

1979

Redfern All Blacks

1978

Redfern All Blacks

1977

West Kempsey

1976

Louis St Dodgers

1975

Kempsey All Blacks

1974

Koorie United

1973

Redfern All-Blacks

1972

Redfern All-Blacks

1971

La Perouse United