FLASHBACK: Former Murgon Mustang Gavin Cooper with the NRL trophy and a bunch of young Mustangs during a trip back home in 2016

September 23, 2020

Former Murgon Mustang Gavin Cooper will be lacing up his boots for the Cowboys for the last time on Thursday night.

Cooper, 35, announced last week this would be his last season in the NRL.

He played in 321 NRL games during his 15-year rugby league career, including 245 with Townsville.

Cooper made his debut for the Cowboys in 2006 before leaving to play for the Gold Coast and Penrith, but headed back north in 2011 and has been there ever since.

He captained the Cowboys to the club’s first trophy, the 2014 NRL Nines title, and appeared in 27 games during the club’s first premiership campaign in 2015.

He also stepped up to captain the Cowboys during the club’s run to the 2017 grand final.

Cooper also made six State of Origin appearances for the Maroons and was a member of the 2017 NRL All Stars side.

Cowboys director of football Peter Parr described Cooper as one of the most influential players in the club’s history.

“He’s one of the greatest contributors this club has ever had. To play the amount of games he has and the amount of time he has spent on the field is significant for me – he’s a guy that has played 80 minutes almost every game of his career, which I think has been understated,” Parr said.

“His on-field record speaks for itself, but what I think of when I reflect on Gavin Cooper’s career at the Cowboys is what he did away from the paddock. How consistent he was with his training and preparation and his care for his teammates and the club.

“There hasn’t been a player who has cared more for this club or been more selfless for this club than Gavin Cooper.

“He did whatever he could to make this club successful both on and off the field and for that reason all of us who have been privileged enough to have had something to do with his career, we will look back on it as one of the great Cowboys careers.”

The Cowboys’ last game for the season is on Thursday night against the Broncos in Brisbane.

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