Castleford Tigers captain Michael Shenton announces his retirement
After 18 seasons as a professional rugby league player, Castleford Tigers captain Michael Shenton has decided to retire at the end of the 2021 campaign.
The 35-year-old came through the Castleford Tigers Academy and made his debut for the club in 2004.
In the early stages of his career, he helped Castleford earn promotion to Super League in 2005 and 2007 and in 2008 he earnt the first of his 12 England caps.
In 2011 Shenton joined St Helens before returning to Wheldon Road for the 2013 season as Castleford captain - where he has been since.
During his second spell with the Tigers, Shenton has twice led them to Wembley for Challenge Cup Finals, reached the Super League Grand Final at Old Trafford and lifted the League Leaders’ Shield in 2017.
Shenton has also been named in the Super League Dream Team three times in 2014, 2015 and 2017.
This year, the Tigers stalwart reached the 400 career appearances milestone and surpassed 500 points scored in Super League.
“I’ve had some incredible experiences in the game, but also some tough times too,” said Shenton in a heartfelt statement to announce his retirement.
“The heartache of relegation after getting the club promoted the previous year, but then getting to be a part of a very special team in 2007, winning the Championship Grand Final to get Cas back into Super League – that was a highlight.
“I’ve had some very special moments, none more so than being in the first Castleford team in history to lift the League Leaders’ Shield.
“Representing England in the sport you love is an unreal feeling but getting the chance to go and play in tournaments across the world in Australia and New Zealand was incredibly special too.”
He continued: “Our ground creates the best atmosphere in the league, mainly because our supporters are so passionate.
“The club is at the heart of our local communities and means so much to them. It’s been incredibly special to represent the club for such a long time, and it’s with great sadness that my time playing for Cas is coming to an end.
He concluded: “It’s been an honour to play for Castleford Tigers for so long and I know I’m going to miss it an incredible amount.”
Outgoing Castleford chief Daryl Powell has been Shenton’s coach since 2013 and said: “Michael Shenton is just class. Class as a bloke, as a family man, as a player, and as a leader. I think that is the word I would use for him, everything about him is first class since I have been at Castleford.
“He deserves all the accolades that he will get at the end of the year because he has been absolutely phenomenal for the Tigers.”