NRL – North Queensland Cowboys skipper Johnathon Thurston (pictured)  has been presented with an Honorary Doctor of Letters for his “outstanding service and exceptional contributions” to the community.

The degree was conferred upon the four – time Dally M medallist in Townsville on Wednesday by James Cook University.

Thurston joins a list of notable Australian sporting identities to have received honorary degrees which includes Evonne Goolagong Cawley, Cathy Freeman, John Eales, Mark Taylor and Greg Norman.

2015 has been a remarkable year for Doctor Thurston, after winning his second NRL title, ninth Origin series for the Maroons and third Golden Boot award.