Castleford Tigers

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Castleford Tigers
Full name Castleford Tigers
Rugby League Football Club
Nickname(s) Cas
Classy Cas
the Black and Amber
Founded 1926; 98 years ago (1926)
Ground Wheldon Road (11,750), since 1927
Sandy Desert, 1926-27
Chairman Ian Fulton
Manager Daryl Powell
League Super League
2015 season 5th
Website [Official site Club home page]

Castleford Tigers RLFC are an English rugby league club based in Castleford, West Yorkshire that plays in the rugby league top-tier Super League. Formed in 1926, the club were founder members of the 1996 Super League taking part in the inaugural competition and have won a number of major honours including the Challenge Cup four times. The club's most recent major trophy was the now-defunct 1994 Regal Trophy.

Castleford have a rivalry with neighbours Featherstone Rovers, Wakefield Wildcats and Leeds Rhinos. The club have been based at Wheldon Road in Castleford, since 1927, after moving from Sandy Desert in Lock Lane, Castleford.

The club's home colours are currently black and orange, although historically the home colours are black and amber.


1896-1925: First Castleford club

Castleford RFC joined the Northern Rugby Football Union for the 1896–97 season, its second and remained in the ranks of the semi-professionals until the end of the 1905–06 season. Not much is known about the original Castleford club, except that they have no connection with the present Castleford Tigers RLFC.

1926-1950s: Establishment of second club

Castleford joined the league for the 1926–27 season.[1] Many official records state that they were founded at this time but they had played successfully in the lower Yorkshire Cup for several years before this date. They actually joined the League "code" around 1920 and played in these early years at the Sandy Desert ground, which is now used by amateur club Castleford Lock Lane youth and junior teams. The club went professional in 1926 and moved to their current home ground on Wheldon Road in 1926.

The club soon started to make a mark on northern rugby, winning their first major trophy when they topped the Yorkshire League in 1932, followed by victory in the Challenge Cup in 1935. In 1938, they made it to the Championship finals, but failed to take the cup. The Second World War meant the league was suspended soon after, and Castleford officially abstained from league competition until the 1944-45 season.

1960-1972: Success

Castleford finished fourth in the national league in the 1962/63 season. The following season they lost 7-5 to Widnes in the Challenge Cup semi-final replay at Belle Vue, Wakefield in front of a 28,700 crowd after drawing at Station Road, Swinton in the first meeting of the two clubs.

Castleford picked up where they left off when they were again beaten in the Championship finals in 1969, this time conceding defeat to arch-rivals Leeds. However, this loss seemed to spur the team on, and 1969 (v. Salford) and 1970 (Wigan Warriors|v. Wigan) saw Castleford win the Challenge Cup for two consecutive years, with clubs legends Alan Hardisty and Keith Hepworth leading the team.

1973-1995: Consistency

John Sheridan was appointed head coach in 1973 for a spell. Castleford’s finished a respectable ninth in a one-division table but Sheridan stepped down following criticism from fans. During the late 1970s Castleford edged up the league, and in 1984 they made it to the Premiership final, where they were beaten by Hull Kingston Rovers. However, they finished consistently high over the next few years, and finished in the top four clubs in the Championship for four years during 1990-1995.

Darryl van der Velde took Castleford to the Challenge Cup final Wembley where they were defeated by Wigan in 1992. A year later, Darryl van der Velde left to become chief executive of the South Queensland Crushers, he was succeeded by his assistant John Joyner.

Through the Darryl van der Velde and early Joyner years Castleford were lauded for there style and were labelled 'Classy Cas'. This enjoyable playing style was to come to fruition most spectacularly in 1994, when Castleford were dominating the league. As well as defeating legendary Wigan team to take the Regal Trophy 33-2, they were also semi-finalists in the Challenge Cup and were also narrowly defeated in the Premiership final. That season John Joyner, was named Coach-of-the-Year by the RFL. St John Ellis scored a record 40 league tries over the 1993–94 season.

1996-2004: Super League era

When a European Super League was suggested, Castleford resisted a merger with Wakefield Trinity and Featherstone Rovers, and becaming a founder member of the Super League in 1996. The team performed weakly at the start of the season causing the resignation of coach John Joyner, the team avoided relegation by a whisker in 1997 following the appointment of Stuart Raper.

The next season, they managed to frustrate the bleak predictions of pundits to move up the league, finishing sixth at the end of the season, after putting in some good performances and pleasing their fans with a sprinkling of victories.

In 1999, they continued on this upward trajectory, finishing fifth, as well as making the semi-finals of both the Challenge Cup and the Grand Final play-offs. This became one of the most famous seasons in the clubs recent past, with fans still remembering it with reverence. The team included many home grown players such as current assistant Danny Orr, and included that years Man of Steel winner Adrian Vowles. In 2000, the rise seemed to stall, as they repeated their fifth-place ranking and made the play-offs for a consecutive season. Raper left Castleford midway through the 2001 campaign to take charge of Wigan, his assistant Graham Steadman took over the reins as head coach.

The Tigers made the semi-final of the Challenge Cup in 2002, however the team was to fall down the table over the years to come. Gary Mercer guided the Tigers to five wins in their last 10 games after replacing Graham Steadman in 2004 but it was too little to save them from the drop as Castleford were relegated for the first time in the club's history. From the introduction of two divisions in the 1972-1973 Northern Rugby Football League season Castleford had spent 32 years in the top flight of British rugby league. Gary Mercer left the club following their relegation from Super League.

2005-2008: Relegations

Dave Woods was appointed head coach and the Tigers finished second in the Co-Operative Championship in 2005 and were back in the Super League via play-offs following victory in the playoff final, as well as competing in the Northern Rail Cup final, where they lost to Hull Kingston Rovers.

Terry Matterson joined the Tigers in November 2005 in replacement of Woods. Castleford were celebrated for playing a good brand of Rugby League however it was not good enough to stop them from contesting a relegation dog fight which was to culminate in a historic match at Wakefield’s Belle Vue, dubbed ‘The Battle of Belle Vue’. It was a fight to stay in the league, and when Castleford lost to Wakefield Trinity Wildcats, it confirmed their relegation. Many Castleford fans do not accept this relegation and it become a grave point of contention with the governing body. The Tigers were relegated from second bottom in front of the newly inducted French side, Catalans Dragons, whom had been given immunity from relegation that season, and behind Wigan whom had been found guilty of a breach of the salary cap rules.

In 2007 Castleford again made a quick return to Super League as they finished top of the Championship with only one loss all season and defeated Widnes 42 - 10 in the Co-Operative Championship play-off final. The Tigers finished bottom of Super League in 2008, but were not relegated due to the newly in place franchise rules.

2009-2012: Re-establishment in Super League

In 2009 Castleford saw a brief return to success by reaching the Grand Final play-offs for the first time since Super League VII and made the semi-final of the Challenge Cup in 2011 before being knocked out by Leeds in an 8-10 defeat after extra time. Club captain Danny Nutley was that year named Man of Steel.

Terry Matterson stepped down at the end of the 2010/11 season to take up a coaching role in Australia and was replaced by former St Helens coach Ian Millward. Millward released by mutual consent on 9 April 2013 after a poor run of results with 1 win in 18 games and with the team at the bottom of the Super League table. Daryl Powell was appointed coach in May 2013 taking over from assistant coach Danny Orr, who had been in temporary charge of the club.

2013-present: Daryl Powell era

Under Daryl Powell and Danny Orr the club has again started to see success on and off the field. The 2014 side were again lauded as Classy Cas for their fast paced and exciting style, with home grown players such as club captain Michael Shenton, Daryl Clark and Andy Lynch whom was returning. The side reached the Challenge Cup final in August 2014, losing to local rivals Leeds 23-10, watched by a crowd of 77,914 at Wembley Stadium. The side would eventually finish 4th in Super League and qualify for the play-offs. They were beaten 41 - 0 by St. Helens in their first game and therefore granted a second chance at progressing with a home tie against Warrington. They were beaten 14 - 30 and therefore knocked out of the play-offs.

On the 29th of September 2015, the club announced the death of Chairman Jack Fulton.


1926-Present: Wheldon Road

Wheldon Road was built in 1926 originally to be the home of Castleford Town F.C.. Castleford Tigers moved in for 1927 after playing their first season of rugby league across the river where Castleford Lock Lane now play their home games. Its record attendance was in 1935 when 25,449 fans watched Cas play Hunslet in the Challenge Cup third round. In 2015 it was announced that they would be leaving Wheldon Road and moving to a new stadium in Glasshoughton.

Five Towns Stadium

The Lateral Property group submitted a planning application for a proposed £135m development and Five Towns Stadium in Glasshoughton. In 2015 planning permission was given to build a new retail park and stadium called Five Towns retail park. Work is expected to start early in 2016 for Castleford to move into the stadium by the start of the 2018 season.


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Castleford supporters at Wembley during the 2014 Challenge Cup Final.

Castleford Tigers have a large fanbase based on the size of the town by population/attendance records with 18.69% of the town population attending home games, the club have averaged a gate close to 8,000 per home game throughout the Super League era. The majority of Castleford's matchday support comes from primarily Castleford and the nearby towns of Normanton, Kippax, Knottingley, Pontefract, Rothwell, Garforth, York, Selby, Sherburn-in-Elmet and Cross Gates.

While the club spent the 2005 & 2007 rugby league season in the Co-Operative Championship due to relegation the club still had an average attendance of 5,000+ and broke most records in the Co-Operative Championship for attendance most notably against Hull Kingston Rovers in the Northern Rail Cup final which was spectated by a crowd of 9,400 and the Co-Operative Championship record attendance of 20,814 in the 2007 grand final against Widnes.

Castleford's fanbase includes a host of celebrity supporters, including England international cricketers Chris Silverwood and Tim Bresnan, Coronation Street actor Alan Halsall, former Coronation Street actress Lucy-Jo Hudson and Notts County and former England footballer Alan Smith.[citation needed]

Kit sponsors and manufacturers

Year Kit Manufacturer Main Shirt Sponsor
1983-1992 None Hicksons
1993-1998 Asics
1999 Avec
2000-2001 Safe Styke UK
2002-2003 Excito
2004-2009 Kukri GMB Union
2010 Diggerland
2011-2012 Puma Probiz
2013 ISC Helplink
2014 CBR Engineering
2015- XBlades

2016 squad

Castleford Tigers 2016 Squad
First team squad Coaching staff

Head coach

Assistant coach

  • (c) Captain
  • (vc) Vice captain

Updated: 8 January 2016
Source(s): 2016 Squad Numbers

2016 transfers


Nat Name Moved From Contract Length Date Announced
England Ben Crooks Parramatta Eels 3 Years June 2015
Australia Joel Monaghan Warrington Wolves 2 Years October 2015
England Greg Minikin York City Knights 2 Years October 2015
England Ryan Hampshire Wigan Warriors 1 Year Loan November 2015
Australia Jy Hitchcox Featherstone Rovers 1 Year November 2015


Nat Name Moved To Contract Length Date Announced
Republic of Ireland Liam Finn Wakefield Wildcats 2 Years October 2015
Wales Michael Channing Featherstone Rovers 2 Years October 2015
England Ashley Gibson Wakefield Wildcats 2 Years October 2015
England Jordan Howden York City Knights 2 Years November 2015
Australia Justin Carney Salford Red Devils 1 Year Loan November 2015
England Scott Moore Wakefield Wildcats 2 Years November 2015
England Scott Wheeldon Sheffield Eagles 3 Years November 2015
England Ryan Bailey Warrington Wolves 1 Year November 2015
England Brandon Moore Halifax RLFC 1 Year December 2015

Club officials

  • Acting Chairman: Ian Fulton
  • Chief Executive: Steve Gill
  • Directors: Richard Wright, Ian Fulton, Steve Vause, Dion Lowe, John Duff, Terry Cheesbrough and Mark Grattan.

Coach history

Club honours

Super League era finishing positions

Club records

Most tries in a season: 40 by St John Ellis 1993-1994

Most goals in a season: 158 by Sammy Lloyd 1976-1977

Most points in a season: 334 by Bob Beardmore 1983-1984

Most career tries: 206 by Alan Hardisty 1958-1971

Most career goals: 875 by Albert Lunn 1951-1963

Biggest win: 106-0 vs Rochdale Hornets, 9 September 2007

Highest attendance: 25,449 vs Hunslet, 9 March 1935

Super League player records

  • Most tries in a game:-

4 by Waine Pryce (vs Wakefield Trinity) 1 September 2002
4 by Rangi Chase (vs Harlequins Rugby League) 29 May 2011
4 by Kirk Dixon (vs Wakefield Trinity) 25 May 2013
4 by James Clare (vs Wakefield Trinity) 8 September 2013

  • Most goals in a game:-

10 by Jamie Ellis (vs Huddersfield) 8 July 2012

  • Most points in a game:-

24 by Kirk Dixon (vs Crusaders Rugby League) 27 March 2011 - (2 tries, 8 goals)
24 by Jamie Ellis vs Huddersfield 8 July 2012 - (1 try, 10 goals)

Danny Orr - 244 (1999)
Appearances - 35
Tries - 12
Goals - 97
Drop Goals - 2

Kirk Dixon - 244 (2011)
Appearances - 25
Tries - 10
Goals - 102

Super League team records

  • Biggest win: 106-0 vs Rochdale Hornets 9 September 2007
  • Heaviest defeat: 4-72 vs St. Helens, 13 August 2006
  • Highest attendance: 11,731 vs Leeds, 7 March 2004

All time

Player records

Players with 300+ appearances


Rank Appearances Player Years
1 613 John Joyner 1972-1992
= 2 431 Artie "Bruss" Atkinson 1926-1942
= 2 431 Dean Sampson 1987-2005
3 401 Alan Hardisty 1958-1971
4 389 Thomas L. Taylor 1931-1946
5 373 George Lewis 1929-1945
6 363 Albert Lunn 1951-1963
7 346 Keith England 1982-1994
8 344 Kenneth Pye 1950-1963
= 9 338 Harold Haley 1932-1948
= 9 338 Trevor Briggs 1965-1978
10 329 Keith Hepworth 1958-1972
11 328 Clive Dickinson 1963-1975
12 325 George Howard 1948-1959
13 323 Robert Spurr 1968-1983
14 320 Michael Redfearn 1965-1977
15 316 Malcolm Reilly 1967-1986
16 315 Peter Small 1958-1969
17 313 Kevin Ward 1978-1990
18 309 Derek Edwards 1960-1972
19 306 Martin Ketteridge 1984-1995
20 301 John Sheridan 1955-1966

Hall of Fame Inductees

See also


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  2. David Smart & Andrew Howard (1 July 2000). "Images of Sport - Castleford Rugby League - A Twentieth Century History". The History Press Ltd. ISBN 978-0752418957

External links