Castleford Tigers confirm that 'one club man' Nathan Massey is leaving after serving the club for 19 years
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The one club man has been with the Tigers since he was 15 years old having worked his way through the Academy system to be a first team regular with 300 appearances under his belt.
During his time at The Jungle, Massey has played in two Challenge Cup finals in 2014 and 2021 and was a key part of the team that won the League Leaders’ Shield in 2017 and made it to the Grand Final at Old Trafford.
He will be looking to finish the season with Cas on a high before moving on to pastures new.
In 2023 he was honoured with a testimonial year by the RFL and welcomed fans down to Wheldon Road for a game dedicated to him in the run-up to this campaign. That day, the Tigers ran out 48-10 winners over the Huddersfield Giants – a game in which Massey himself slotted a goal through the posts from the tee.
On the decision to leave the club, Massey told castlefordtigers.com: “It’s emotional to be leaving, but it’s probably the right time for me and the club to go a different way.
"I’ve loved every single minute at this club, and I am proud to have represented the jersey as I have done. I first started at 15 as a chubby, long-haired kid and I am leaving as a 34-year-old, so I’ve got fond memories here. I’ve been proud to represent this club for a long time.”
The forward began life in the Tigers Academy ranks as a teenager alongside a number of players who also eventually broke into Cas’ senior squad and he looked back on his time in the youth system and his first team debut.
He said: “Westy and Wattsy are still exactly the same! I’ve had the privilege of growing up with some of the boys I’ve played with through the academy and that’s been great.
"I’ve made some mates for life here and I’ve loved every minute. There were a few of us who made their debut in that game because Wattsy did as well, and it was a big occasion for the town.
“The stands down here were packed and it was a blend of first team and academy boys coming through who played.”Massey has seen the Cas squad change numerous times during his stay and wanted to thanks a couple of players in particular who played pivotal roles in his career.
“There have been some great players who have helped my career, namely Andy Lynch who was a big influence on me when he came to the club. People like Millo and players like that have been great for me.
“Lynchy used to set the example with how hard he worked by doing extras and things like that. That was sort of one of his key attributes, so I used to aspire to be like him and work as hard as he did which put me in good stead.”
Nathan’s testimonial year is continuing with the commemoration of his career in an event on Wednesday night at Wheldon Road. A Rugby League All-Stars squad will take on a Nathan Massey All-Stars team, which will include some legends of the game and will get underway at 7:30pm with tickets priced at £10 for adults and £5 for under 16s and concessions.
Massey thanked the Cas fans for their backing over the years.
He added: “It’s obviously been my testimonial year and the support has been amazing, so I’d like to thank the fans and sponsors for their support.
"I think we’ve got the best fans in the league down here and they always come out in their numbers and support us, regardless of if we win or lose. Long may that continue going forward for the boys.
“My all-star game will probably be one of the last times I will be here at home and it should be a great occasion and it’s raising funds for a great charity in Life for a Kid so hopefully we can get a few numbers down.”
Director of Rugby Operations Danny Wilson paid tribute to Massey’s achievements with Cas.
He said: “He’s had a fantastic career at the club. He’s been a really good professional and a good man. When you look at young kids coming through, you want them to model themselves on the behaviours that Massey has shown.
“He’ll forever go down in history as a Castleford legend. He’s had a really good time at the club, and he’s had some success. Like everybody, there comes a time when change is needed and for Massey, this is the time for him to explore new ventures.
"We really wish him the best of luck, and I’m so privileged to have worked with him. We’re really grateful for the position that the club are in as a result of what he’s done over the last 15 years at the club.”
Everyone at and associated with Castleford Tigers would like to place on record their gratitude for the service that Nathan has given to the club over the years and wish him the very best in the future.