The North Queensland Toyota Cowboys pay tribute to Joe Goicoechea, a club founding father who sadly passed away last week.
The Cowboys will be forever indebted to Joe, and Chairman Lewis Ramsay shares the story of his contribution to the club’s first home.
“Joe was an integral member of a joint board put together to fund and develop the club’s first stadium," Ramsay said.
"His vast experience in construction combined with his playing and administrative background in rugby league throughout North Queensland meant he had both the knowledge and the network to help the club overcome the difficulty it faced in building a stadium with limited funding.
“Joe spent countless hours persuading local companies to donate their time and equipment and then supervising their work and that of his own company’s construction team, whose time and equipment were similarly donated, in the quest to create the first home of the Cowboys."
Former Chairman Laurence Lancini was head of one such local company approached by Joe.
"Joe was determined, resilient, passionate and loyal and used his smarts and successes to build up those around him," Lancini said.
"There’s not many who would have the guile and the gumption to go to a competitor and ask them to donate their services alongside him, but that’s who Joe was – someone you couldn’t help but say yes to after getting caught up in his vision for the club and all of North Queensland."
My admiration for Joe knows no bounds. He was the epitome of the North Queensland spirit upon which our club has been founded.Former Chairman Laurence Lancini
Inaugural CEO Kerry Boustead said Joe was one of the key players to the Cowboys success.
“Joe’s love of football was very evident when I met him in the early 90s," Boustead said.
"It wasn’t hard to recognise he had been a tough front-rower who didn’t take a backward step on things he was passionate about.
"Fortunately, Townsville and North Queensland were the beneficiaries of his passion. so when the Cowboys were admitted to the competition in his own community, Joe was relentless in his support."
There's no doubt that without Joe, the Cowboys' first stadium would never have been completed in time for our first season.Inaugural CEO Kerry Boustead
Building the Cowboys
Chief Executive Officer Jeff Reibel highlighted the impact Joe had on his own Cowboys journey.
“I will always be grateful for the time I got to have with Joe. In my early years at the club he always had time and advice for me," Reibel said.
"What our club meant to him was highlighted on our trip away in 2005 when we beat Parramatta to secure our maiden Grand Final berth – I felt privileged to be in his company and share his reaction and emotion.
“It was incredibly special that Joe was also able to join us for our last home game at our inaugural home ground in August of 2019.
"We were honoured to have him take the field one last time as part of our stadium farewell ceremony which allowed us to recognise his treasured contribution to our club."
“Joe was a man who always had his community and our club top of mind. We will be forever thankful for his stewardship and want to assure his family he will always be remembered by his team, the North Queensland Cowboys.CEO Jeff Reibel