Castleford Tigers: Former stars out to launch Dennis Hartley biography, ‘Big Den’

Dennis Hartley, right, with former Cas team-mate Malcolm Reilly.
Dennis Hartley, right, with former Cas team-mate Malcolm Reilly.

SOME of the finest players of the 1960s and 1970s will be present at Castleford’s Mend-A-Hose Jungle this evening (Tuesday 17 July) for the launch of `Big Den’, the biography of the fearsome prop Dennis Hartley, which has been published by London League Publications.

The likes of two of Hartley’s colleagues at Castleford, Malcolm Reilly and Alan Hardisty, together with his one-time Hunslet team-mate Peter Dunn and Bob Fox (the former secretary of Doncaster, where he started his career) and author Phil Hodgson will pay tribute to the man – a terror on the field but a real gentleman off it – who was a key figure in Great Britain’s last Ashes success in 1970.

Hartley was also a central figure in the glorious 1965 Challenge Cup Final, when Wigan edged Hunslet, and after transferring to Castleford was seen as the final piece of the jigsaw in a team that won the Challenge Cup in 1969 and 1970.

On retirement as a player, Dennis went on to nurture a host of youngsters at Wheldon Road, with the majority of the side that prevailed at Wembley in 1986 having gone through his hands as Castleford’s Colts coach.

Admission to tonight’s event, which starts at 7.30pm and will take place in the Tigers Bar, under the main stand, is free. Former `Singing Referee’ John Kendrew will act as chair.

Details on how to purchase and/or order copies of the book will also be available this evening.