North Queensland born, Mr Dowling, 60, has been married to his wife Rhonda since 1982. The pair has two children aged 22 and 29.
One of Australia’s finest rugby league prop forwards, he played in Townsville in the 1970s before going on to play for the Brisbane Broncos, the Queensland State of Origin team, and Australia.
Mr Dowling is a respected Townsville businessman, who owns a franchise in the Willows Shopping Centre.
The football legend was awarded the Australian Sports Medal in 2000 for contributions to rugby league.
Mr Dowling announced he is standing up as candidate for Mayor of Townsville in March 2020.
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