Wednesday, March 13, 2024


Mackay and Whitsunday Life

A Legacy Of Community And Rugby League

Mackay bids farewell to a legend as Doug Knight OAM, a pillar of the community and rugby league aficionado, peacefully passed away on February 27, 2024. His legacy, spanning decades of dedication and service, leaves a mark on the hearts of those who knew him.

Born in Bowen, Doug devoted many of his teaching years to Victoria Park State School, leaving an unforgettable impact as both an educator and a mentor. His commitment to fostering the potential of countless students earned him widespread respect and admiration after clocking up 35 years as a teacher.

Renowned for his passion for rugby league, Doug's coaching career spanned an impressive 58 years, during which he selflessly guided numerous teams, still coaching as a 79-year-old. Regardless of skill level, Doug believed in providing opportunities for all children, instilling values of teamwork and sportsmanship that transcended the game.

His commitment to community service earned him widespread recognition, including the prestigious Order of Australia Medal.

A devoted family man, Doug and his loving wife Sandra had four daughters, Suzanne (dec), Debbie, Pauline, and Jenny, and seven grandchildren.

Reflecting on her father's legacy, Debbie Knight shared cherished memories of his boundless compassion and willingness to help others.

"He taught me a lot, but what I most admired about my dad was the devotion he had for his family and club, that he always strived for fairness and that he would never say no to helping me no matter what - even when he would be busy helping others," she fondly recalls.

“He didn’t really care about winning all that much, though it was always a much better grand final if Souths came out on top.

“Dad wanted kids to have opportunities and didn’t like seeing them missing out. He’d always pick up a heap of Souths kids to take them to footy training.”

Daughter, Jen McPherson also shared insights into Doug's remarkable character when he was awarded his OAM.

“This man is the epitome of a volunteer who does it because he loves it and gets embarrassed when he gets recognised for his awesomeness," Jen reflects.

"I saw how much care and time he puts into each and every kid that has gone through South’s over the last 57 years, regardless of sporting ability or potential, he just wants every kid to 'have a go and enjoy it'."

The Mackay Souths Sharks, deeply saddened by Doug's passing, paid tribute to his unparalleled contributions to rugby league and the wider community.

“A great man in so many ways that will be missed by many.

“A true Legend to the game of rugby league not just to South’s but to the whole rugby league community,” their tribute read on Facebook.

Though Doug may no longer be with us, his spirit lives on in the countless lives he touched and the values he instilled in others.

Caption: Doug Knight OAM, pictured after receiving his OAM, forever remembered for his dedication to rugby league and tireless community service. Photo supplied

In other news