Mike ‘Stevo’ Stephenson on Sky Sports once described Castleford Tigers’ The Jungle as “the best playing surface in Super League” as a deluge of rain threatened to call off a West Yorkshire derby between them and rivals Leeds Rhinos.
At most grounds, the rain would have been the end of play, but the Tigers’ pitch stood up firm and has been a top playing surface for over a decade now.
Now, long-term club partners Russells have enhanced their support of the Tigers by becoming their official grounds care partner for the 2023 season, helping maintain what the club describes as their “award-winning pitch.”
A leading name in ground care, agricultural and construction equipment supply, Russells have proudly served the Yorkshire farming community since 1921 and continue expanding their reach with seven depots in Yorkshire alone, and even more across the country.
The club and Russells’ relationship has gone from strength to strength over the last seven years, highlighted by their support of the Fords’ Head Groundsman Stu Vause who has nearly forty years of grounds management experience, with top qualifications such as a Level 3 in Horticulture and a Higher National Diploma in Greenkeeping.
Vause and the Tigers have earned commendations over the last eight years, with the help of Russells in achieving that, including two wins as the ‘Grounds Team of the Year’ from the Grounds Management Association’s annual industry awards.
Furthermore, Russells were proud to back former Tiger Jacques O’Neill as his player sponsor, starting from his days in the Academy before making his Super League debut too.
Managing Director of Russells, Paul Russell, spoke about the news and said: “We are delighted to continue our partnership with the Tigers into our seventh year and become the club’s official grounds care partner providing Stu (Vause) with the help and support he needs to keep the playing surfaces in award-winning condition”
Speaking about the Tigers’ fantastic relationship with Russell, Castleford Tigers Head Groundsman Stu Vause added: “It is fantastic that Russells are expanding their support of the club as our official grounds care partner! They are a great company with good people and strong family values which is a perfect fit for us here at the Tigers.
“As well as supplying machinery and equipment, the dedicated support that they provide is second to none and I can’t thank Paul (Russell) and Jonny (Newton) enough for the help we’ve received over the last five-plus years. I’m looking forward to strengthening that bond in the years to come.
“In the time I’ve been I’ve been at the club we have had success with the GMA (Grounds Management Association), we’ve won, been runners up and like this year we are highly commended. With Russells’ support, I’m confident we can even gain further success in the future.”
Commercial Director at Castleford Tigers, Laura Kirk shared the Club’s thanks to Russells saying: “It’s brilliant to have the continued support of Russells to help keep our pitch in the best condition – the work that Stuart puts in is second to none and the awards he has received over the years are testament to that. We are looking forward to developing our partnership with Russells.