Matthew Bowen has today been inducted as the third member of the North Queensland Toyota Cowboys Hall of Fame.
Announced at the Cowboys 2019 Season Launch at the Townsville Entertainment and Convention Centre, Bowen joins Paul Bowman and Matt Sing who were unveiled as inaugural inductees in 2015.
Unrivalled as the greatest fullback in Cowboys history, Bowen rewrote the record book during a glittering 13-year career in North Queensland.
‘Mango’ is the only player to eclipse the 100-try landmark for the Cowboys, crossing 130 times over the course of his career, 45 more than any other player to don a North Queensland jersey.
He scored a mammoth 22 tries in 2007 alone, tied with Israel Folau for the most in the NRL and also finished fourth in Dally M voting behind eventual winner and long-time teammate Johnathan Thurston. The same season he was named RLPA Player of the Year and Dally M Fullback of the year.
At the end of his Cowboys career, Bowen had appeared in 270 games for North Queensland, a club-record only topped by Thurston in 2018.
A member of both the club’s 10 and 20-Year Anniversary teams, Bowen is also one of just nine Cowboys Life Members.
“I’m extremely humbled to be inducted into the Cowboys Hall of Fame,” Bowen said.
“Bear [Bowman] and Singy [Sing] are two blokes I really looked up to when I came into first grade, when I played alongside them and I continue to look up to them today. To be inducted into the Hall of Fame alongside two players and men of that calibre is a huge honour.
“I would have never achieved what I did in my career without my mum and dad, they drove down to Townsville for every one of my games. Receiving honours like I did today would never have happened without their love and support.
“The Cowboys are the only team I played for in Australia and I’m a home-grown product of North Queensland so this club, its members and fans mean the world to me.”
Cowboys Director of Football and Hall of Fame Committee Chairman Peter Parr described Bowen as “one of the great Cowboys” upon announcing his induction.
“The Hall of Fame is designed for the best of the best so first and foremost you need to meet the criteria and Mango has definitely done that,” Parr said.
“He’s obviously done it statistically, but the voting also calls on you to look at the player’s character and integrity and he clearly ticks both those boxes as well.
“I think above all is the fact no player in any jersey to play at 1300SMILES Stadium has captivated a crowd like Matthew Bowen.
“There is no doubt that there is not a player in Cowboys history who brought more joy to the crowd or entertained more on the field than Matthew.”