Castleford legend Dean Sampson talks to Super League Super Stars

Last Updated: 02/04/13 4:55pm

His nickname was Diesel and he had a reputation for steaming in like truck. And it didn't take much to get him revved up either.

Dean Sampson was one of the game's hard men, straddling the old generation when the game was played on the frozen surfaces of winter, and the birth of Super League.

Influenced by his father David, also a rugby league player, his career began at Stanley Rangers, a stone's throw from the family home.

He hit the big time though when Castleford came in for him, and so began a long and mostly happy career that saw him turn out more than 400 times for the Wheldon Road club.

On Super Stars this week, Jon Wells talks to Dean about his life and times in rugby league, his reputation for being an enforcer on the field, and the relationships he had with various coaches in the game, from his own father, to Daryl Van De Velde.

Both made a big impression on him, but he saves his biggest praise for Stuart Raper, who came to Castleford to help turn them from relegation fodder in the mid 90s to a team challenging for Super League honours.

In this taster from the interview, Dean remembers the transition from winter to summer and the 1997 World Club Challenge venture, which turned out to be a turning point for the Tigers.

As you would expect from a larger than life character like Dean, he also recalls the trouble he got into on and off the pitch and the scraps with his fellow professionals.

Regrets - he has a few. But he also has some pretty special memories to treasure.