Castleford Tigers mourning Challenge Cup-winning GB forward Johnny Ward

CASTLEFORD Tigers are mourning the loss of Hall of Famer Johnny Ward.

Former Castleford Tigers forward Johnny Ward scores against Australia in 1963

The versatile former Great Britain forward – he could operate at prop and hooker – played more than 250 games for the club and was part of their 1969 Challenge Cup winning side. Ward actually started his career at Featherstone Rovers but moved on to their derby rivals without playing a first-team game.

It would prove a brilliant piece of business from Castleford given the service he went on to provide.

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Ward earned Yorkshire representative honours during his time at Wheldon Road and also gained England and Great Britain selection.

Johnny Ward on the ball for Cas in the 1969 Challenge Cup final

In total during his career, he won three caps for England and another four for the Lions having been part of the successful 1970 Ashes-winning tour of Australia. Ward scored two tries when Castleford famously beat the Kangaroos at Wheldon Road in 1963 and twice helped them win the BBC Floodlit Trophy.

He went on to finish his career at Salford, playing for them between 1970 and 1973 and winning the Lancashire Cup.

Castleford head coach Daryl Powell said: “This is very sad news at the loss of another Cas legend from the 60s.

“Johnny Ward was respected hugely both as a player and a man.

“He will be sadly missed and we wish Johnny’s family well at this sad time.”