Castleford Rugby League Players’ Association held their annual reunion dinner at Roundhill WMC, with the event proving another sell- out event.
The reunion was attended by hundreds of former players, family members and guests, all associated with the Wheldon Road club going back all the way to the early 1950s.
Association president Alan Hardisty, accompanied by chairman Barry Johnson, opened the ceremonies and spoke about how well the association had grown in recent years and how the Tigers’ successful year in winning the League Leaders Shield and reaching the Grand Final had seen the term ‘Classy-Cas’ return to the club.
Current under 19s assistant coach Paul Couch was on hand to speak about the association’s 2017 Junior Tiger Award – the Colin Butterfield Trophy – which was this year awarded to Academy half-back Callum McLelland.
The highly rated youngster was unable to be present to pick up his award, due to international commitments playing for England Academy team. But Couch spoke about the side reaching the Under 19s Grand Final and the promise and success in the side, with McLelland and four other players in Calum Turner (who won the award in 2016), Luis Johnson, Jake Trueman and Robbie Storey all in France representing their country.
Hardisty addressed the audience on the 2017 Tiger of the Year award and said it had taken some long discussions from the committee before it was decided to give the trophy to Keith Howe.
The former Cas centre, who was a Challenge Cup winner in 1969, played for the club from 1962 to 1970, making 167 appearances and scoring a total of 109 tries, with 34 of them coming in the 1966-67 season to give him the Tigers most tries in a season accolade for quite a number of years.
Current Tigers head coach Daryl Powell, along with a full compliment of back room staff, entered the room mid-way through to a standing ovation from the whole room.
Powell, along with his assistant Danny Orr and conditioner Ben Cooper, addressed the room and spoke about the current season’s progress and success and it was evident that their presence was greatly appreciated by the association and their representatives.
Comedian Johnny Casson entertained members with a stand-up routine and the reunion dinner proved a massive success, with huge interest in next year’s event already and former players registering their interest in attending.