JT Track officially opened

Townsville's iconic Goat Track will be temporarily renamed after North Queensland Toyota Cowboys champion Johnathan Thurston, in celebration of his career and contribution to the local community.

The champion Cowboys co-captain is regarded as a G.O.A.T (Greatest of All Time) in the NRL and to commemorate his retirement, Townsville City Council has renamed the popular exercise route the 'JT Track' until September 7.

Mayor Jenny Hill said Johnathan Thurston is one of the greatest sporting champions of a generation and has helped shape our community.

"JT is a hero among many in our community and I congratulate him on his outstanding NRL career," Cr Hill said.

"Everyone has amazing memories of JT on the field, but it's his work off it that really deserves more recognition.

"Whether it's his work with local sportspeople, schoolkids and Indigenous community members, or lobbying to ensure Townsville got its new stadium – Thurston is central to it all.

"He is an inspirational player and one of the greatest sports stars in Australia.

"To commemorate his retirement, we have renamed the Goat Track to the JT Track because he is the Greatest of All Time."

With only 6,000 tickets remaining Cr Hill encouraged local footy fans to make sure that they take the opportunity to see Thurston play for the last time at home before he retires.

"Come support JT at his last home game this Friday, it'll be a great send off to the end of an era for him and the Cowboys," Cr Hill said.

Cowboys CEO Greg Tonner said the club was thrilled to be involved with the renaming of the track and thanked the Mayor and Townsville City Council for their kind gesture.

"The Cowboys, like the rest of the local community are so proud of everything that Johnathan has achieved on and off the field in his 14 years here.

"He's definitely the 'GOAT' in our eyes so it's the perfect icon to rename in honour of this town's beloved JT," Tonner said.

When told about the gesture Johnathan said he was very humbled but hoped the community wouldn't blame him when their legs got heavy towards the top!

"Townsville is home to me and my family and we love this community," he said.

"To have the Council do this for me with such an iconic local attraction, I am genuinely humbled.

"It's not an easy track though so I hope people aren't cursing my name by the end of it!" Thurston joked.