Bill Clift, community champion

Bill Clift, who has died in his 72nd year, was a magistrate, a passionate supporter of Castleford Tigers and chairman of the governors at Castleford Academy.

Bill Clift

He eventually became chairman of trustees for the Tigers Trust, the club’s charitable arm.

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In his 35 years at the Academy, he championed rugby league for pupils in the town, and was instrumental in the organisation of youth tours to Australia.

In 2009 he was awarded the MBE for voluntary services to Castleford and Wakefield

The town’s MP, Yvette Cooper, said he had believed in the power of the sport to give opportunities to generations of young people and had taken immense pride in the achievements of each new each generation.