29 October 2019 02:41
Veteran forward Jamie Thackray is returning to west Cumbria for the 2020 season after signing a one-year deal with Whitehaven. The 40-year-old, in fact, will be completing a full-house of Cumbrian clubs after previously playing for both Barrow Raiders and Workington Town. Thackray appeared to have retired at the end of the 2017 season but was tempted back to the game by former Keighley Cougars coach Craig Lingard when they battled back from the brink to start last season. They opened at the Recreation Ground where Thackray was their most effective forward in a spirited performance which Whitehaven won, to set them on their way to the eventual title. When Lingard was surprisingly sacked by Keighley in May, Thackray quit but has now been tempted back to Whitehaven where he knows a number of individuals.
"I played with Marc Shackley and Jason Mossop at Workington and, when I played for Keighley at the Recreation Ground last season Gary Charlton said he wished he had known I was available and he would have brought me up," said Thackray. "I love it here in Cumbria after spells at Barrow and Workington and I can't wait to get started, back into training at Whitehaven. "I know I'm no spring chicken but I've always looked after myself and as long as I feel in good shape I will keep on playing. I've played at the top level and the lowest, so I'm looking forward to playing in the Championship next season." Thackray will be entering his 23rd season when Haven kick-off next year and he can look back on a remarkable career which included three Great Britain caps in 2005 when he was playing for Hull FC. He was also a Challenge Cup winner that year with the Humbersiders.
He had made his professional debut for Hunslet in 1997 and has gone on to play for 13 different clubs, as well as Limoux Grizzlies, Atherton Roosters and Tumut. Thackray made his career-high number of appearances for Hull FC (85), over two different spells and also played more than 50 times for each of Hunslet Hawks (69), Halifax (51) and Workington (52). He was also a first-team regular for a season or two at Castleford, Leeds, Crusaders, Barrow, London Broncos and Doncaster. Thackray becomes the third forward to join the squad for 2020, following the capture of Tom Walker and Glenn Riley from Barrow. His signature is expected to start a flow of re-signings and new captures as coach Gary Charlton looks for a squad of 25 for the increased challenge of the Championship. A £10,000 national art prize was launched today by a Cumbrian art gallery – with all entry fees going to a youth charity. Steve and Christine Swallow, owners of the Castlegate Gallery in Cockermouth, have launched the project to highlight mental health. The Castlegate Prize opens for entries on November 23, and money raised will go to the mental health charity YoungMinds. For the inaugural £10,000 prize, funded by the gallery, artists must take the word 'hope' as the inspiration for their painting or drawing. All the £20 entry fees will be donated to the UK's leading charity fighting for young people's mental health. Steve said: "Mental health charities are very close to our hearts, and those supporting youth mental health in particular. "We believe this truly is a unique art competition, one that can inspire artists and do some actual good at the same time. "YoungMinds is a truly excellent charity whose work brings hope to young people and also their families who may be going through difficult times too. "Because of this, we chose 'hope' as the most appropriate word to inspire entries for the inaugural Castlegate Prize. "It's up to each artist to take that inspiration in whatever manner they see fit." Steve and Christine will will be judges, along with Cumbria-based former John Moores Painting Prize winner Martin Greenland, British contemporary painter and printmaker Eileen Cooper RA, OBE, and writer, broadcaster and journalist Stuart Maconie. Vanessa Longley, Director of Development at YoungMinds, said: "We are thrilled to receive support from Castlegate House Gallery through The Castlegate Prize. "Their contribution will ensure that we can continue our vital work fighting for the mental health of children and young people across the UK. "We look forward to seeing how the artists interpret the theme of the prize." Entries for the Castlegate Prize close on February 14. The winner will be announced on May 2 with the best 30 works exhibited at the gallery for the following three weeks. Entrants must be 16 or over. For more information see www.thecastlegateprize.co.uk www.youngminds.org.uk www.castlegatehouse.co.uk/