North Queenslanders can now gear up to farewell the inaugural home ground of the Toyota Cowboys, 25 seasons after the very first match in 1995, with tickets to the ‘memories and milestones’ themed match going on sale today.
To celebrate the historic occasion the Cowboys are giving fans the chance to go back in time with 1,995 Retro Memberships at $19.95, available to the general public from 12pm today.
The Cowboys will run out at 1300SMILES Stadium for a fitting Round 24 battle against the Bulldogs, North Queensland’s opposition during the club’s first game on March 11 in 1995.
The first game is a milestone Cowboys board member and inaugural Cowboys CEO Kerry Boustead remembers well.
“After all these years I remember that first game like it was yesterday,” Boustead said. “It poured down rain, but everyone was having a great time.”
A 23,156-strong crowd were there to celebrate the occasion, with fireworks, skydivers, two send-offs and Lee Kernaghan singing ‘C’mon the Cowboys’.
“Looking back on that night, there are a lot of happy memories for a lot of people.”
Ingham local Laurie Spina captained the inaugural side in 1995 and led the Cowboys out for their first historic appearance.
“It was a special feeling that day, because people had travelled from all over North Queensland to be there to watch the game,” Spina said.
“To see home-grown talent today have the opportunity to live up here and to play for the people of North Queensland is special.”
Mt Isa product Coen Hess grew up following the Cowboys before making his first-grade debut for the club in Round 24 of the 2015 season.
“I’ve had a lot of good memories here at the stadium, like running out for the first time in front of a home crowd is something I’ll never forget,” Hess said.
“We’ve had many legends of the club who worked extremely hard and have stayed loyal to the Cowboys over the years, which is the North Queensland spirit.”
The Cowboys will kick off the 2020 season at their new gathering place, North Queensland Stadium.
Cowboys members and fans will celebrate the ‘memories and milestones’ match when gates open at 5.50pm on Thursday 29 August at 1300SMILES Stadium.
Tickets will be available through Ticketek (ticketek.com.au or 132 849), and Cowboys members receive 10% off home game tickets (maximum of four tickets per member, per game).