Death of former Castleford coach

HARRY Street, the man credited with putting the class into Cas, has died.

Castleford-born Mr Street took the reins at his hometown RL club at the start of the 1957-58 season after a successful playing career.

In seven seasons, he transformed Castleford from perennial strugglers into genuine championship contenders and laid the seeds for the success of the late sixties and early seventies.

'Twenty years ahead of his time', according to former Cas captain John Sheridan, Mr Street put in place the club's first youth policy by persuading the board to retain the area's brightest young talents, such as Alan Hardisty (signed after just one trial game) and Keith Hepworth.

Blooding local youngsters Hardisty made his debut aged just 17 years 77 days old alongside the club's more experienced stars created a blend that was to prove the cornerstone for Castleford's rise to become one of the top sides of the sixties.

Cas finished second bottom in his first season but by the time he left seven seasons later, the club was sixth in the First Division, earned a semi-final Challenge Cup replay (losing 7-5 to Widnes at Wakefield) and reached the final of the Eastern Division Play-off (beaten by Halifax).

One of Mr Street's finest moments came on November 13, 1963, when he masterminded Castleford's historic 13-12 success over the Australian tourists at Wheldon Road.

His reign at the club ended in acrimonious circumstances Mr Street quit in January, 1965, after a row over a car parking space but he will long be remembered as the man who gave the club its Classy Cas title.

As a player, he never appeared for his hometown club in a competitive fixture, although he did once guest for Cas during a war-time friendly while on leave and turned out in black and amber against his own Select XIII for Charlie Howard's benefit match on May 7, 1959.

He won four Great Britain caps on the 1950 Lions tour three against Australia at loose-forward and one as a three-quarter against New Zealand appeared for England nine times and made four Yorkshire starts.

His playing career included stints at Saints, Dewsbury, Wigan, Leeds and Featherstone Rovers, where he made 12 appearances.

Mr Street, who was in his late seventies, was living in Huddersfield at the time of his death.