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1863 - Pass The Ball
Rugby Union was for many years in the late 1800’s the game to play and watch in Castleford. So when association football started in 1863 Castleford was not even considered. However by the 1880’s an amateur team called Castleford Town were playing on a ground in Lock Lane.
The real breakthrough came in 1894 when Castleford joined the newly formed West Yorkshire League. In the 1908-09 season they moved to a new ground in Wheldon Road and one year later they joined the Midland League. In their first season they managed to come 21st out of 22 teams. 1919-20 saw their most successful year when they came 7th in the League and even managed to reach the second round of the English Cup, having knocked out seven clubs to get there. A couple of seasons later when the Third Division was formed Castleford was denied admission, losing out to Halifax Town by one vote.
The decline came quickly and by the 1925-26 they were 22nd out of 22 teams and left the Midland League. 1926-27 saw them back in the Yorkshire League where they came 2nd out of 16 teams and in 1927-28 they missed the runner-up spot on goal average. But gates were abysmal and they left the Yorkshire League at the end of the 1928-29 season having come 13th out of 16 teams. They did rejoin for 1934-35 when they were 13th out of 18 teams. In the 1935-36 they could only achieve 19th out of 20 teams and were finally disbanded midway through the 1936-37 season.
In 1926 when Castleford Town left the Midland League they also sold their Wheldon Road ground to the newly formed Castleford Rugby League Football Club who were to play in the Northern Football League. That first season did not start well with them ending up at the bottom of the table but it did see the debut of one of Cas’s greatest players, Arthur ‘Bruss’ Atkinson who played until 1942 including representing his country eleven times.
During his time he also led them to win the Yorkshire league in 1932, followed by their first Challenge Cup title in 1935. 1935 was also the year of their biggest crowd when 25449 watched them play Hunslet in the Rugby League Cup.
The high point of Castleford R.L.F.C. has to be the two years 1969 and 1970 when they went to Wembley and took the Challenge cup both times and earned themselves the name of ‘Classy Cas’. The club has never achieved one of the great 'names' in the game but have played consistently well over the years and since the introduction of two divisions in 1973 Castleford are one of only three professional clubs to have constantly remained in the top division of British Rugby League.
In 1996 they changed their name slightly to become the Castleford Tigers but this has not diminished the loyalty of the local population.
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