Keighley Cougars legend signs for 20th and final season

Keighley Cougars stalwart James Feather has signed a new contract to play for his hometown club for a 20th season.

Feather signed his first deal with the Cougars in 2003, debuting in 2006 and having the role of club captain for more than a decade.

He has already retired twice, first in 2017 and then in 2020 with the start of the Covid pandemic, but on both occasions later returned to help the club out once again.

During the 2021 season Feather broke Keighley’s all-time appearance record, surpassing the late Phil Stephenson, and the 37-year-old will look to extend his tally of 348 matches further next year.

Keighley had their hopes of promotion from League 1 last season dashed in the final seconds of their play-off tie in October, and Feather says that is a big reason for his decision to re-commit, even if he insists he will definitely be hanging up the boots this time.

“The reason why I’m carrying on (is) I can’t have that semi-final loss to Doncaster as my last involvement with the club,” he admitted. “It was the biggest loss of my career, so I don’t want to finish my career after that game.

“I’m signing on as a player but more looking towards helping all the players in front of me and pushing them on the training field to hopefully help make them better players for it.

“I’ll still train hard and if then the club needs me to play, I’ll be good to go and give all I’ve got for this team and the club. But this year will be my last, that’s 100% for sure.”