Castleford supporters hand out awards at ‘special’ event

Grant Millington: Supporters player of the year for 2017.
Grant Millington: Supporters player of the year for 2017.

Fans gathered at a packed Roundhill WMRC to celebrate one of the best seasons in Castleford Tigers’ history.

The annual Castleford Tigers Supporters Club 2017 Player of the Year Awards Evening was sold out and saw fans mingle with players and officials of the League Leaders’ Shield winning club.

Executive event sponsor was The Powder Keg and event sponsor Rachel’s Tiger Cubs, child minding.

The supporters player of the year award, sponsored by Churchfield Foods, was presented by Sharon Hardisty to the ever consistent forward Grant Millington ahead of some stiff competition from a team that has been consistently outstanding in 2017.

It was the supporters club’s largest poll to date with 11 different players chosen, making it a difficult choice in a magical season.

Full-back Zak Hardaker, who has been a big hit in his first year at the club following his move from Leeds Rhinos, won the CTSC committee player of the year award, sponsored by the Black Swan, Normanton and presented by committee member Dave Bowman.

The under 19s player of the year award, sponsored by Faye’s Sandwich bar, was presented by Faye Noon to Jacques O’Neill.

Special achievement awards were handed out to Andy Lynch, who is retiring at the end of the year after a fantastic long career in Rugby League, and the entire Castleford team in recognition of their success in 2017 when they have become the first team in the club’s history to finish top of the league.

During the evening chief executive Steve Gill looked back on a special year while captain Michael Shenton, head coach Daryl Powell spoke on first team matters and head of youth Pete Riding looked back on a good year for the academy, highlighted by the under 19s reaching their Grand Final.

Tigers head coach Powell said it was a special night for everyone involved with the club.

He said: “It was a good night. It was packed and wherever we hold an event now it’s pretty full, which is great.

“We had that day at the club the other week when there were thousands of people there after we’d won the League Leaders.

“It was packed on Monday night and I think the club’s player of the year on Saturday night is sold out so we’re enjoying the time we’re spending with the supporters.

“It’s so tough to call for our player of the year, massively tough. Zak Hardaker won one award and Grant Millington another, but you look through our team and there could have been many others. Greg Eden’s the leading try scorer, Michael Shenton’s been superb in supplying tries, Jake Webster’s been superb, our half-backs have been awesome. Our pack, Paul McShane has been superb.

“You just look through our team and you’re thinking how do you pick one player out?

“The supporters have a special achievement award and they gave it to everybody and you can see why, it’s been a special year so far.”

The CTSC thanked all their sponsors for the event as well as the Roundhill WMRC staff and committee, everyone who donated a raffle prize, the staff at the Tigers Den and the Tigers players, coaching staff and directors for their attendance. The event raised £817.96, an all-time record for the Player of the year awards night.

The next event is on Friday, October 20 when a night of rugby league debate takes place at George V WMC (start 7.30pm). Sponsors are Ryder and Caddock, host will be Richard Stead, of Radio Leeds and the panel will consist of Phil Caplan (Forty Twenty magazine), Kirk Dixon (player turned radio pundit) and Mark Wilson (Radio Yorkshire).