Photo: Lori Neilsen Photography

The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys’ official Hall of Fame has been launched with foundation Cowboy Paul Bowman and try-scoring machine Matt Sing announced as inaugural inductees.

The announcement was made at the Cowboys’ 20th anniversary dinner, held under the stars at Jupiters Townsville this evening.

The Hall of Fame launch coincided with the unveiling of the Cowboys’ 20-year team, with 1,000 special guests attending the dinner, including both Hall of Fame inductees.

Cowboys General Manager – Football Peter Parr said the time was right to launch a Cowboys Hall of Fame, adding that the 20th anniversary dinner was the perfect occasion to announce the first two inductees.

“We see it as part of the evolution of the club,” he said.

Parr said a specially selected panel – which included members of the Cowboys’ and wider rugby league community – decided the inaugural inductees, with specific criteria set in place for eligibility.

The foundation criteria were that any players considered had to have played at least 100 National Rugby League games for the club and that they had to have been retired from playing rugby league for at least two years.

Potential inductees were then assessed on:

• Skill and ability
• Leadership
• Integrity and character
• State and international honours
• Club awards won

Foundation Cowboy Bowman, who currently heads up the club’s high performance unit, played 203 games for the Cowboys over 13 seasons (1995-2007) and was captain for three seasons from 2001.

He played 12 State of Origin games for Queensland and was named the club’s player of the year in 1999 and 2000 (joint winner) and players’ player of the year in 2005.

“With Paul Bowman’s selection into the Hall of Fame, it’s about his longevity at the club, the amount of finals appearances, his contribution to the Queensland team, two player of the year awards and a players’ player,” Parr said.

Sing enjoyed a stellar 104-game, six-season stint at the Cowboys, including a starring role in numerous finals appearances, while continuing to represent Queensland and Australia.

“He (Sing) scored 74 tries in 104 games for the Cowboys, which is unbelievable,” Parr said.

“The Hall of Fame committee thought he had a tremendous impact on the club. He came here in 2002 when it was at rock-bottom, and he went on and won player of the year (2002) and players’ player (2002-03) and represented Queensland and Australia in his time here.”

The players’ names will feature on a special Hall of Fame display at the Cowboys Leagues Club in Flinders Street, Townsville.