‘This means so much to me’: JT statue unveiled
JOHNATHAN Thurston began to tear up talking about the people who helped him in his career.
The former Cowboys captain's bronze statue was unveiled outside the Queensland Country Bank Stadium today in front of Thurston's family and members of the Townsville rugby league community - including Peter Parr via a video call.
Thurston said he didn't quite realise how big of a deal the statue was until he came to the event.
"You think about it, but until it actually happens, it's blown me away how much support I have had, especially from the community here in Townsville and North Queensland," he said.
A little sad that he would not be able to lead North Queensland's team onto the new field, Thurston said he was proud to be a part of the new stadium.
"I'm extremely proud to call North Queensland home," he said.
"This community has embraced me when I arrived here in 2005 and this is where I will raise my four children."
Thurston praised Burdekin artist Jane Hawkins' hard work in getting the pose just right.
"It is a huge moment for myself and the family," he said. "I trusted Jane, it was a long process, I spent hours and hours at her place with the sculpting and the poses.
"She was very thorough in her work and you can tell how it's turned out."
Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk was there to help Thurston unveil the replica of his 2015 grand final-winning kick.
"To think about the thousands of fans that are going to come here and have their photographs with Johnathan's statue, it's absolutely amazing," she said.