Central have withdrawn their first grade team from the rest of the Newcastle Rugby League season.
The announcement was made by Newcastle RL on Wednesday. It follows the funeral of Central player Joel Dark, who died earlier this month five days after collapsing on the field.
The Butcher Boys will continue playing reserve grade, under 19s and women's Blues Tag competitions in 2020.
There are two rounds remaining before next month's finals series.
"In what has been an extremely challenging couple of weeks for the Central Newcastle club a decision has been made to withdraw their first grade team from the remainder of the 2020 competition," Newcastle RL chief executive officer Matt Harris said.
"Their blues tag, u19s and reserve grade teams will continue to participate this season. Newcastle RL understands and respects this decision.
"I would personally like to acknowledge and commend the Central club on how they have rallied around their players and football staff during these difficult times.
"The support they have shown each other has been astonishing and demonstrates the strong culture that exists within the Butcher Boys football community.
"Our thoughts and well wishes continue to be with Joel's family and friends along with the Central Newcastle committee, players, football staff and supporters."
Central will host Maitland in three games at St John Oval on Sunday.
There will now be two first grade fixtures this weekend. Lakes are at home to Souths at Cahill Oval on Saturday while Wyong visit Wests at Harker Oval on Sunday. Cessnock and Maitland have byes.
While you're with us, did you know the Newcastle Herald offers breaking news alerts, daily email newsletters and more? Keep up to date with all the local news - sign up here.
IN THE NEWS TODAY: