Keighley Cougars fans can see big screen revival of Cougarmania

Keighley fans will get chance to relive the days of Cougarmania in a documentary to be shown at Keighley Playhouse next month.

Cougarmania – The Movie has been put together by former director Mike Smith and will be shown for the first time at a screening on Thursday, February 13 at 8pm, with proceeds going to captain James Feather’s testimonial fund.

After the programme, which charts the whole period from 1991 to 1995 and also covers 1996-97, there will also be players and club officials from that era speaking about their own memories from the time.

With the help of archive footage, the film documents the new innovations pioneered by the club which were used in Super League and have now been adopted in many professional sports.

The programme documents the challenges and developments that changed a small, unsuccessful club close to extinction into a championship-winning team that boasted international players, a refurbished stadium and some of the highest attendances in domestic rugby league.

However, after building a sustainable club and being within two weeks of achieving the dream of promotion to join the game’s elite league as champions, Cougars’ dream was shattered.

The club would have been promoted to the top division for the 1995-96 season but a restructuring saw them controversially excluded from the inaugural Super League campaign and that disappointment ultimately saw Cougarmania fade away.

It is ironic that nearly two decades on the rules are set to change, with automatic promotion and relegation due to replace the current licensing system.

Smith, who was a major force behind the Cougarmania era along with Mick O’Neill, said: “Anyone who was involved in that period for four or five years will find it absolutely fascinating.

“It’s going to be a nostalgic and emotional evening.

”Tickets for the night cost £5.

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