A favourite son of Tigerland, Centralian Joel Bowden played 265 games for Richmond Football Club from 1996 until 2009.
Joel was a Northern Territory Schoolboys representative in 1993 when he was named in the All-Australian Schoolboy’s team, winning the J.L Williams Medal for being the best player of the Championship. He represented the Northern Territory a second time the following year.
The third in line of four Bowdens to play for the Tigers, his father Mike and brothers Sean and Patrick also donned the famous yellow and black. Joel Bowden joined the Tigers via the father-son rule and made his debut against Hawthorn in 1996. Initially, a running half-forward Bowden graduated to the backline where he quickly made his mark by reinventing the art of defence.
Often asked to play on taller and stronger opponents Bowden used his pace, superior ball-handling skills and devastating left foot to beat many opponents.
Although only playing in three finals throughout his career Joel Bowden excelled in all three, proving to the football world that he was a big-game player who excelled in the cauldron-like atmosphere of finals football.
In a highly decorated career Joel Bowden proudly represented his country twice against Ireland in the International Rules Series in 2001 and 2004, won Richmond’s Best and Fairest in 2004 and 2005 and was named an AFL All-Australian in 2005 and 2006. Joel also represented the Allies against Victoria in 1998.
Joel Bowden is a man who gave his all for the yellow and black, a man who never once shirked a contest and who never gave less than 100 per cent in the relentless pursuit of victory throughout his 265 game career.
Inducted into the AFL Central Australia Hall of Fame in 2005, Joel Bowden was also named in 8HA’s CAFL Outback Team of Champions as the Wests Football Club’s best player since records began in 1948.
Inducted as a legend into the AFLNT Hall of Fame in 2012, we congratulate one of Territory football's favourite sons into the AFLNT Team of the Century.