Johnathan Thurston’s resume is as decorated as any player ever to don a North Queensland Toyota Cowboys jersey – tonight he added another line.
Thurston was inducted as the fourth member of the Cowboys Hall of Fame at tonight’s Presentation Night at the Townsville Entertainment & Convention Centre.
‘JT’ joins fellow Cowboys legends Paul Bowman and Matt Sing, who were the inaugural inductees in 2015 and long-time teammate Matthew Bowen, who was inducted in 2019.
Thurston’s career as a Cowboy is the stuff of legend.
After playing 29 games across three seasons for the Bulldogs, JT moved north in 2005 and within one season emerged as one of the NRL’s premier players.
In Thurston’s first season at the club, he claimed the first of a record four Dally M Medals and led the Cowboys to a maiden grand final appearance.
He would win the Dally M, the NRL’s premier individual honour, again in 2007, 2014 and 2015. He was named Dally M Halfback four times, Dally M Five-Eighth of the Year three times and RLPA Player of the Year on four occasions.
Thurston was named the world’s premier player three times, winning Golden Boot Awards in 2011, 2013 and 2015.
After leading North Queensland to finals appearances in four consecutive seasons between 2011 and 2014, Thurston kicked the famous field goal to hand the Cowboys their historic maiden premiership in 2015. That kick, which came in golden point against arch-rivals Brisbane, is immortalised through a statue outside Queensland Country Bank Stadium – a stadium Thurston lobbied for in his grand final acceptance speech.
JT finished his career following the 2018 season, finishing with a club-record 294 appearances, 80 tries and 922 goals. He was also named Paul Bowman Medallist for Cowboys Player of the Year four times.
During his time as a Cowboy, Thurston represented Queensland in 37 State of Origins and was an integral member of the eight-straight series victories between 2006 and 2013. He also appeared in 38 Tests for the Kangaroos, including the 2013 World Cup Final victory over New Zealand.
Thurston’s resume on the field is rivalled by very few who have ever played the game – as is his work off the field.
JT has been an ambassador for the Cowboys Community Foundation, NRL Cowboys House, Every Day Counts, Queensland Reconciliation Awards and Deadly Kindies. He was also named the 2012 Ken Stephen Medalist, the NRL’s prestigious community award which recognises the social contribution rugby league players make through involvement in charity work, youth development and community support.
“The first thing the committee does before a Hall of Fame candidate is even discussed is determine whether the player fulfills the required criteria – and in Johnathan’s case he ticked every box,” Cowboys Hall of Fame Committee Chairman Peter Parr said.
“To try and sum up Johnathan’s career in a few words is difficult. His playing resume is littered with success at every level of the game. He holds records at club, state and international level – that’s something very few players have achieved.
“For everybody who had the privilege of playing some part in Johnathan’s career, watching him develop as a person gave as much gratification as watching him as a player. The two went hand in hand, the more he matured, the better he played.
“He had a truly special career and it’s hard to argue anyone has had a greater influence or impact on the Cowboys than Johnathan.”