Gidley playing for St Helens in 2007
|Full name||Matthew Gidley|
|Born||1 July 1977|
Newcastle, New South Wales, Australia
|Height||186 cm (6 ft 1 in)|
|Weight||94 kg (14 st 11 lb)|
Matthew "Matt" Gidley (born 1 July 1977) is an Australian rugby league administrator and former professional rugby league footballer. Gidley represented New South Wales and Australia. He is the currently CEO of Football Operations at the Newcastle Knights. He played the majority of his career at Newcastle, winning a premiership in 2001, before playing four seasons for St Helens in the Super League.
Gidley had played all his junior football in the five-eighth position, however with Matthew Johns taking up the position in the Knights line up, he slotted in to right centre. Gidley was selected for the Australian team to compete in the end of season 1999 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against New Zealand he played at centre in the Kangaroos' 22-20 victory. Gidley played at centre for Newcastle in their 2001 NRL grand final victory against the Parramatta Eels. At the end of the 2001 NRL season, he went on the 2001 Kangaroo tour. Having won the 2001 NRL Premiership, the Knights traveled to England to play the 2002 World Club Challenge against Super League champions, the Bradford Bulls. Gidley played at centre and scored a try in Newcastle's loss.
Gidley became famous for his wing/centre combination with former Knight Timana Tahu. A common play was for the ball to be sent out to the right side of the field where Gidley would run, draw one or two players in before doing the famous Gidley flick pass to Tahu or placing a grubber kick down the line. This play was used at both club and representative level.
2006 saw a rejuvenation of sorts for Gidley seeing him recapture some of his old magic flick pass play with Knights winger Brian Carney. In 2006 Gidley retired from representative football, aiming to focus on playing well at club level. This move was questionable as it was right before the annual City vs Country Origin clash, where many thought Gidley was going to make the Country side in the centre position.
He became only the 4th Newcastle Knight to play more than 200 career games.
Gidley joined English club St. Helens in the Super League as a replacement for Jamie Lyon in 2007 when Lyon returned to Australia with the Manly-Warringah Sea Eagles. His first match for the English club was their victory in the 2007 World Club Challenge over the Brisbane Broncos.
In 2011 Gidley returned to the Newcastle Knights as the Business Development Manager before being appointed the CEO of Football Operations in June 2011 by the new owners, Hunter Sports Group. Meanwhile, his younger brother Kurt was club captain.