Castleford stars past and present receive awards

James Clare races clear for one of his eight tries last season for Castleford Tigers.
James Clare races clear for one of his eight tries last season for Castleford Tigers.

A rising star of the current first team squad and a hero from the past were honoured at the Castleford Tigers Players Association annual reunion dinner at Roundhill WMC

James Clare, who scored eight tries in eight first team appearances in 2013, was named the Colin Butterfield Rookie of the Year while Keith Hepworth’s outstanding contribution to the club and association was acknowledged as he was the recipient of the Tiger of the Year award.

At Sunday’s event ex-players spanning eight decades were treated to a nostalgic afternoon of memorable and humorous stories.

Tigers chief executive Steve Gill said: “This event gets bigger every year and it was evident how much hard work goes in to organising it.

“It is always an honour to attend such events and rub shoulders with players who have helped write the history of Castleford Tigers.

“Their involvement in the club in the past has been immense and the club owes a great debt of gratitude to these former Tigers.”

Award winner Clare said: “I would like to pass on a massive thanks to the Castleford Tigers Players Association for nominating me for this award.

“It’s a great honour for me to be even mentioned in the same sentence as some of the club’s great players, such as Keith Hepworth.

“I’ve learned a lot this season and I’m really looking forward to kicking on again in 2014.”

Castleford RLPA committee member Geoff Smith said: “The Tiger of the Year award is presented to the person who makes a fantastic contribution to the Players Association over the previous year and ‘Heppy’ is a worth winner.

“He was a great player and is a lovely man who is a legend of the club and is Cas through and through.

“James is a young man who is making his way in the game. He was over the moon to win the award, but I think that he was also gobsmacked by the sheer amount of people in attendance.”