The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys have put a proud exclamation mark on their 2016 National Rugby League regular season with the poignant unveiling of their Hall of Fame on Saturday night.
The first two inductees – former captain Paul Bowman and star winger Matt Sing – were on hand for a special presentation at the Cowboys Leagues Club after the 32-16 victory over the Titans at 1300SMILES Stadium.
The Leagues Club will be the official home of the Hall of Fame, with General Manager Clint Williams revealing a specially-built installation where replicas of the trophies will be permanently displayed.
Bowman and Sing were presented with their individual Hall of Fame trophies at the post-match formalities, which were attended by dozens of Cowboys Old Boys, gathered in Townsville for the Titans match as part of the traditional Old Boys reunion weekend.
“It was a special weekend, and capped off beautifully by the win over the Titans and having our Old Boys in town,” said General Manager – Football Peter Parr.
“Bear (Bowman) and Singy are worthy first inductees into our Hall of Fame, which we believe was the right time to launch giving our recent 20-year celebrations and on the back of our maiden premiership in 2015.”
Announced as inaugural inductees at last year’s 20-year festivities, Bowman and Sing took centre stage on Saturday night, with both men visibly humbled by the recognition.
Proserpine product Bowman, 40, played 203 games for the Cowboys over 13 seasons (1995-2007), and was captain for three seasons (2001-03).
A centre, Bowman scored 62 tries and played 12 State of Origin matches for his beloved Queensland Maroons (2000-05).
He is manager of the club’s High Performance Unit and has two children, Grace and Harry, with wife Shayne.
Born in Winton, Sing, 41, came to the Cowboys in 2002 as an established and bonafide NRL star with previous stints at Penrith and the Sydney Roosters.
He played 104 NRL games for the Cowboys over five seasons (2002-06), scoring 73 tries.
He also played 24 Origins for Queensland and 15 Tests for Australia.
Predominantly a winger, Sing was known for his strong finishing and explosive, powerful running.
He currently lives and works as a fitter in Yeppoon where he and wife Bree are raising their three children.
A committee featuring representatives with a long association with the club chose the initial Hall of Fame inductees, with an initial prerequisite of having played at least 100 NRL games for the Cowboys, and having had to be retired from first grade rugby league for two years.
Other criteria around ability and character reflective of the Cowboys’ culture and values were then factored into the selections.
Members and fans are invited to view the Hall of Fame installation while visiting the Cowboys Leagues Club in Flinders Mall, Townsville.