Alex McKinnon reveals why he is leaving his job at the Newcastle Knights

By ROBERT DILLON
NEW CHALLENGE: Alex McKinnon and his wife, Teigan. Picture: Jonathan Carroll

ALEX McKinnon says he will be "forever grateful" to the Newcastle Knights after confirming he is leaving his day-to-day job to pursue new opportunities.

McKinnon has spent the past three years as Newcastle's elite-pathways recruitment manager but resigned earlier this week.

The club hopes he will remain in ambassadorial role.

"In short, I resigned from my role at the club," McKinnon told the Newcastle Herald.

"I'm resuming studies at University of Newcastle in Psychological Science.

"I'm looking forward to gaining experience from an array of different companies and sporting organisations in the future.

"I will be forever grateful towards the Knights and Wests for the professional opportunities they have presented me over the last eight years and personal development that has come from that.

"I want nothing but the best for our team and all the staff."

It is expected the position McKinnon has vacated will be advertised and the search for a replacement will kick off next week.

It is understood McKinnon has been asked to continue working for the club as an official ambassador, along with club legends Kurt Gidley and Mark Hughes.

McKinnon will no doubt be determined to fit as much family time as possible into his new schedule.

McKinnon and his wife, Teigan, welcomed twin baby girls, Audrey and Violet, into the world last April.

They already had another daughter, Harriet, who was born in 2018.

McKinnon, an Aberdeen Tigers junior, joined the Knights in 2012 after playing three NRL games for St George Illawarra.

The rugged utility forward proceeded to play in 46 games for Newcastle before he suffered a devastating spinal injury in a game against Melbourne Storm in 2014.

The injury left him a quadriplegic and prompted an outpouring of grief and sympathy from the rugby league community, culminating in the unprecedented "Rise for Alex" fundraising round months after his accident.

At the time, then NRL chief executive Dave Smith said the game would offer McKinnon a career "for life".

McKinnon has since worked for the Knights in two separate stints, as well as media roles and public-speaking appearances.

It is expected the now-vacant position will be advertised and the search for a replacement will kick off next week.

It is understood McKinnon has been asked to continue working for the club as an official ambassador, along with club legends Kurt Gidley and Mark Hughes.

McKinnon and his wife, Teigan, welcomed twin baby girls, Audrey and Violet, into the world last April.

They already had another daughter, Harriet, who was born in 2018.

McKinnon, an Aberdeen Tigers junior, joined the Knights in 2012 after playing three NRL games for St George Illawarra.

The rugged utility forward proceeded to play in 46 games for Newcastle before he suffered a devastating spinal injury in a game against Melbourne Storm in 2014.

The injury left him a quadriplegic and prompted an outpouring of grief and sympathy from the rugby league community, culminating in the unprecedented "Rise for Alex" fundraising round months after his accident.

At the time, then NRL chief executive Dave Smith said the game would offer McKinnon a career "for life".

McKinnon has since worked for the Knights in two separate stints, as well as media roles and public-speaking appearances.


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