Kear keen to pay respects to Jo Cox

Batley chief John Kear has praised the club for its efforts in paying tribute to Jo Cox, the MP for Batley and Spenborough who was killed last week.

The Bulldogs will use this Sunday’s massive Heavy Woollen Derby game against Dewsbury to honour her, with the club hoping to raise at least £2,000 for her charities.

Guests of honour on the day will be Bernard Kenny and his family, to recognise his heroic efforts as he attempted to help save her life.

Plans have been put in place by the club to provide a fitting tribute. Traditional Rugby League hymn ‘Abide With Me’ will be sung by local man Paul Egan before sunflowers will be placed in the centre of the pitch. A minute’s silence will then be held, with fans asked to raise aloft matchday programmes with her face on the front aloft during the mark of respect.

Although Kear acknowledged the enormity of the game, he spoke of the importance for the club to pay their respects.

“Every derby game is a big game, and this is no different,” Kear told TotalRL.

“There’s a certain level of commemoration about the game because of the circumstances surrounding Jo Cox and the tributes that are going to be paid to her.

“She was a central figure to Batley and Spen, there’s no doubt about that. I met her just once, about an hour and a half she spent in a gym session with the players and she was just an infectious, bubbly character who had a very positive outlook and a very tolerant and caring personality. The club has done a great job organising it and I’m sure it will be a very fitting tribute.”