Castleford Tigers

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Castleford Tigers
Club information
Full name Castleford Tigers
Rugby League Football Club
Nickname(s) Cas
The Tigers
Classy Cas
The Fords
Website Official site
Founded 1926; 88 years ago (1926)
Current details
Chairman Jack Fulton
Head Coach Daryl Powell
Competition Super League
2013 season 12th
Rugby football current event.png Current season

Castleford Tigers is an English professional rugby league football club based in Castleford, West Yorkshire.

Formed in 1926, Castleford was one of the twelve founder members of Super League when the new league format was introduced in 1996. The 'Tigers' nickname and logo were introduced in 1992 and the late-1960s represented their most recent period of success, with two Challenge Cup successes back to back in 1968-69 and 1969–70, The club's most recent major trophy was the now defunct Regal Trophy in 1993-94.

Castleford Tigers have rivalry with local teams Wakefield Wildcats, Featherstone Rovers and Leeds Rhinos. The club have been based at Wheldon Road since 1927. The club's home colours are amber and black.


Castleford RFC (1896-1906)[edit]

Main article: Castleford RFC (1896)

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.

The early days[edit]

The Castleford Tigers 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 ametuer 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 making 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. World War II meant the league was suspended soon after, and Castleford officially abstained from league competition until the 1944-45 season.

Post War[edit]

Castleford finished fourth in the national league in the 1962/63 season, the clubs hhighest placed finish in their history. The following season they lost 7-5 to Widnes Vikings in the Challenge Cup semi-final replay at Belle Vue, Wakefield in front of a 28,700 crowd after drawing at 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 and 1970 saw Castleford win the Challenge Cup for two consecutive years, with clubs legends Alan Hardisty and Keith Hepworth leading the team.

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

Through the Van de Velde and early Joyner years the Tigers 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 Warriors 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.

Super League era[edit]

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 Warriors, 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.

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 Wildcatsit 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, Catalan 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 Vikings 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.

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 Rhinos 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.

Under Daryl Powell and Danny Orr the club has again started to see success on and off the field. The 2014 side have been again lauded as Classy Cas for their fast paced and exciting style, with home grown players such as club captain Michael Shenton, Craig Huby 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 Lateral Property group have submitted a planning application for a proposed £135m development and new Castleford Tigers stadium in Glasshoughton, Yorkshire-based GMI Construction Group has been appointed as the main contractor with construction work expected to start in summer 2015, subject to planning approval.


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 17.6% 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, Sherburn-in-Elmet, 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 KR 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 Vikings.

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]

Super League era[edit]

Finishing positions

1996: 9th in Super League I

1997: 10th in Super League II

1998: 6th in Super League III

1999: 5th in Super League IV

2000: 5th in Super League V

2001: 8th in Super League VI

2002: 6th in Super League VII

2003: 8th in Super League VIII

2004: 12th in Super League IX (relegated)

2005: 2nd place in Co-Operative Championship (promoted via playoffs)

2006: 11th in Super League XI (relegated)

2007: 1st place in Co-Operative Championship (promoted via playoffs)

2008: 12th in Super League XIII

2009: 7th in Super League XIV

2010: 9th in Super League XV

2011: 9th in Super League XVI

2012: 13th in Super League XVII

2013: 12th in Super League XVIII

2014: 4th in Super League XIX

Club statistics[edit]

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

Club honours[edit]


Challenge Cup: 1934-35, 1968–69, 1969–70, 1985-86 (4 times)

  • Runners-up 1991-1992, 2014

John Player Trophy: 1976-1977

Regal Trophy: 1993-94

BBC2 Floodlit Trophy: 1965-66, 1966–67, 1967–68, 1976-77 (4 times)

Yorkshire Cup: 1977-78, 1981–82, 1986–87, 1990–91, 1991-92 (5 times)

  • Runners-up 1948–49, 1950–51, 1968–69, 1971–72, 1983–84, 1985–86, 1987–88, 1988–89

First tier of Rugby League

Yorkshire League: 1932–33, 1938–39, 1964–65 (3 times)


  • Runners-up 1938-1939, 1968–69

Rugby League Premiership

  • Runners-up 1983-1984, 1993-1994

Second tier of Rugby League

Co-Operative Championship:

  • Grand Final Winners 2005, 2007 (2 times)
  • League Leaders Shield 2007

Northern Rail Cup:

  • Runners-up 2005

2014 squad[edit]

* Announced on 19 December 2013: 2014 Squad Numbers

Squad No Nat. Player Position Contract Previous Team
1 England Jordan Tansey Fullback 2015 York City Knights
2 England Kirk Dixon Winger, Centre 2015 Hull FC
3 England Michael Shenton (C) Centre 2016 St Helens
4 New Zealand Jake Webster Winger 2015 Hull Kingston Rovers
5 Australia Justin Carney Winger, Centre 2019 Sydney Roosters
6 Australia Luke Dorn Stand Off, Full Back 2015 London Broncos
7 Republic of Ireland Marc Sneyd Half Back 2014 Salford City Reds - Season Loan
8 England Andy Lynch Prop 2015 Hull FC
9 England Adam Milner Hooker, Stand off 2016 Castleford Tigers
10 England Craig Huby Prop 2014 Castleford Tigers
11 Australia Grant Millington Second Row, Prop, Loose Forward 2015 Canterbury Bulldogs
12 New Zealand Weller Hauraki Second Row, Prop 2014 Leeds Rhinos
13 England Nathan Massey Loose Forward, Prop 2015 Castleford Tigers
14 England Daryl Clark Hooker 2016 Castleford Tigers
15 England Ryan Boyle Prop 2014 Salford City Reds
16 England Oliver Holmes Second Row, Loose Forward 2016 Castleford Tigers
18 England Frankie Mariano Second Row 2014 Wakefield Wildcats
19 England Scott Wheeldon Prop 2015 Huddersfield Giants
20 England Jamie Ellis Half Back 2014 Hull FC
21 England Ashley Gibson Centre 2015 Salford City Reds
22 England Richard Owen Full Back, Winger 2015 Castleford Tigers
23 Wales Michael Channing Centre 2015 London Broncos
24 England James Clare Winger, Fullback 2016 Castleford Tigers
25 Wales Daniel Fleming Prop 2014 Castleford Tigers
26 Republic of Ireland Liam Finn Scrum Half Featherstone Rovers
28 England Ben Reynolds Fullback, Stand off 2013 Castleford Tigers
30 England Jordan Howden Prop 2014 Castleford Tigers
31 England Brad Day Second Row 2014 Castleford Tigers
32 England Lee Jewitt Prop 2014 Salford Red Devils
33 England Will Maher Prop 2014 Castleford Tigers
35 England Garreth Carvell Prop 2014 Hull FC

2015 transfers[edit]


No In Name Moved From Contract Length Date
1st Junior Moors Melbourne Storm 3 Years July 2014
2nd Ben Roberts Melbourne Storm 2 Years July 2014
3rd Denny Solomona London Broncos 2 Years July 2014
4th Matt Cook London Broncos 2 Years July 2014
5th Steve Crossley Featherstone Rovers 2 Years August 2014
6th Luke Gale Bradford Bulls 3 Years August 2014
7th Scott Moore London Broncos 2 Years September 2014
8th Mike McMeeken London Broncos 2 Years September 2014


No In Name Moved From Contract Length Date
1st Charlie Martin Dewsbury Rams 6 Months June 2014
2nd Brett Seymour Whitehaven RLFC 6 Months June 2014
3rd Weller Hauraki Salford Red Devils 3 Years July 2014
4th Marc Sneyd Hull FC 3 Years July 2014
5th Dan Fleming Bradford Bulls 2 Years July 2014
6th Daryl Clark Warrington Wolves 4 Years August 2014
7th Lee Gilmour Wakefield Wildcats - Player/Coach 2 Years September 2014
8th Craig Huby Huddersfield Giants 4 Years September 2014

Players earning international caps while at Castleford[edit]

Other notable players[edit]

These players have either; played in a Challenge Cup, or Yorkshire Cup final, or played in Yorkshire League winning teams, received a Testimonial match, are Hall Of Fame Inductees, were international representatives before, or after, their time at Castleford, or are notable outside of rugby league, other players can be found in the List of Castleford Tigers players.[2]


Coach register[edit]


Super League era[edit]

Player records[edit]

  • Most tries in a game:-

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

  • Most goals in a game:-

10 by Jamie Ellis (vs Huddersfield Giants) 8 July 2012

  • Most points in a game:-

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

  • Most points in a season:-

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

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

Team records[edit]

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

All Time[edit]

Player records[edit]

Players with 300+ appearances[3][edit]

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

Team records[edit]

  • Rugby Football League Championships: None. 1926–Present day
  • Biggest win: 106-0 vs Rochdale Hornets, 9 September 2007
  • Heaviest defeat: 4-72 vs St Helens, 13 August 2006
  • Highest attendance: 25,449 vs Hunslet 9 March 1935
  • Most Tries In One Season By A Single Player: 40 - St John Ellis, 1993/94 Season

Kit suppliers[edit]

Since 2013, Castleford Tiger's kits have been supplied by ISC.



  1. ^ "The History Of Rugby League". Rugby League Information. Retrieved 2 January 2014. 
  2. ^ "Listing of every player to ever play for Castleford RL". Archived from the original on 16 February 2012. Retrieved 18 November 2013. 
  3. ^ 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[edit]