For many years now, his name has been synonymous with the North Queensland Cowboys and for the rugby league diehards, it would not be the same seeing him in another jersey but it looks like that might be a possibility, as veteran fullback Matt Bowen announces he will depart the Cowboys at the end of the season.
In what will be his 268th NRL match for the Cowboys this year, a current club record, Bowen will either take up a deal with an overseas club or choose to stay involved with the Cowboys in an off-field capacity, likely to be an ambassador and club community worker if he chooses that path.
In 13 seasons in the NRL, all have come for the Cowboys, with the man nick-named Mango playing for QLD and Australia, as well as the Indigenous All-Stars side.
With their final home game coming on Saturday week against the Tigers, Cowboys CEO Peter Jourdain said the career of Matt Bowen would be celebrated then by all.
“There is no-one in the NRL who is more loved by a club’s members and fans than Matthew with the Cowboys,” Mr Jourdain said.
â€œIt’s been great to see him develop from being a shy 18-year-old from Hope Vale into one of the game’s best players and a father of two with his long-time partner Rudie.
“We have all been lucky to be able to enjoy his talents over Generic Levitra such a long period of time and I’m sure everyone connected with the Cowboys wishes him well with the rest of this season and whatever he chooses to do beyond 2013.
“In conjunction with the NRL, we have offered him two off-field positions which will be there when he is ready to take it up.
“In the meantime, we hope to get a huge crowd to the round 26 match – his last home game – to give Matty the send-off he deserves.”
It is safe to say that Bowen will go down as one of the club’s greatest ever players, an honour that he deserves according to Cowboys General Manager of Football, Peter Parr.
“Matthew is a very special player. A one-of-a-kind who we are fortunate to have had at the Cowboys for the duration of his NRL career,” Mr Parr said.
“He is responsible for many of the most memorable moments this club has had and has shown incredible tenacity to play on after two very serious knee injuries.
“We would all love to see him wear our No.1 forever but unfortunately that isn’t possible.
“There will always be a place for him at our club and now that will be off the field when he is ready to make that change.
“I can see him having a massive impact as a role model and mentor to young people in North Queensland, not just young footballers.”