The reasons behind Luke Gale’s surprise squad number and his former Castleford Tigers teammate

Tonight, Keighley Cougars have surprised fans with the shirt number given to exciting new signing Luke Gale.

This comes after Bradford Bulls surprised fans by giving former Leeds Rhinos star the number 31 shirt instead of the one shirt.

Former Man of Steel and Hull FC man Gale will also wear 31 at Keighley and the Cougars have explained why as they released their squad numbers.

The statement on their club website reads:

“In keeping with the tradition implemented in the squad number system since the appointment of Lovegrove as Head Coach, those who served the club in the prior season take the so-called starting numbers with those brought into the club given the higher numbers.

“This means players like Lewis Young and Nathan Roebuck, who wore 30 and 27 respectively last season, will this season wear the number 1 and 4 jerseys.

“Other movers from the 2022 squad see Dan Parker and Billy Gaylor move to the 8 and 9 shirts with Kyle Trout wearing the 11 jersey for the upcoming year.

“Alix Stephenson is also a mover as he moves from 18 to 2, whilst Toby Everett takes the number 10 shirt after making his loan move from Batley permanent for the 2023 season.”

They then confirmed that Gale requested 31 whilst former Featherstone Rovers man Dane Chisholm requested 22:

“Luke Gale will wear the 31 shirt at his own request with Gale’s fellow new signings taking numbers 19 through 28, the only exception being the 22 jersey which has been granted to Dane Chisholm at the request of the half-back.”

Gale’s former teammate Jake Webster also has a surprise squad number moving from three to 33.

They explained why also: “Jake Webster, who has worn the 3 shirt since first joining the club in 2020, will take the 33 jersey for the season pending as he begins the transition onto the coaching staff.”

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