It may seem he’s everywhere on the field when weaving his magic in front of the BLUE+GREY faithful, but Johnathan Thurston will also be in the crowd during the Cowboys v Broncos Round 11 blockbuster at 1300SMILES Stadium on Friday night.
When Thurston leads his North Queensland Toyota Cowboys on to the hallowed turf in front of a sellout crowd, it will mark his 250th game for the club.
Thurston – who made his Cowboys debut against the same team on 13 March 2005 – will join club legend Matthew Bowen as members of the 250-game club, the milestone reached over 12 seasons, and incorporating the 2015 NRL Telstra Premiership.
To mark the special occasion, members and supporters can pick up their free JT mask at the gate from 5pm on Friday night (while stocks last) – be there early to get yours to show your support for our co-captain!
Thurston’s teammates Lachlan Coote and Ray Thompson hammed it up this week, posing for photos with the man-of-the-moment while brandishing the JT masks.
Cowboys head coach Paul Green paid tribute to Thurston’s contribution to the club where he has played the majority of his 278 NRL games.
“It’s a huge achievement for Johnno personally. He’s the sort of bloke who will go out of his way not to make it about him this week,” Green said.
The coach said Thurston continued to improve and was learning to ‘step back’ from games at different times: “He’s managing games better at this point in his career.”
Thurston said he was focused on helping his team play well against the Broncos, but admitted the looming milestone was an ‘exciting time’.
He added the club meant a lot to him and that Friday night would be a ‘proud occasion’.
“I arrived at the club as a kid really – 21/22 years of age – and no doubt the club’s been a big part of my life,” he said.
Thurston has scored 74 tries in the Cowboys jersey, while kicking 769 goals.
Visit cowboys.com.au/broncos for full game day details!