Bulldogs pay tribute to Jo Cox at Rams derby

Tributes will be paid to murdered Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox at Sundays Bulldogs v Dewsbury Rams derby.
Tributes will be paid to murdered Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox at Sundays Bulldogs v Dewsbury Rams derby.

Batley Bulldogs will pay their own tributes to murdered Batley and Spen MP Jo Cox at Sunday’s derby with Dewsbury Rams.

Mrs Cox was a huge supporter of the Bulldogs, attending matches and functions at her hometown club.

Bernard Kenny, who tried heroically to save Jo’s life, and his family, will be guests of honour at the match.

The club are producing a commemorative matchday programme with a picture of Jo on the front cover and supporters of both clubs are asked to hold those aloft when a minute’s silence is held before kick-off.

All proceeds from the programmes, priced £2, will go to the Jo Cox Memorial Fund, which has already topped £1m, while there will be a rendition of Abide With Me, to be sung by Birstall man Paul Egan.

Dignitaries, along with players of both the Bulldogs and Rams, will lay sunflowers in the centre of the pitch prior to the Bulldogs cheerleaders placing them in the memorial garden at Mount Pleasant.

Bulldogs chairman Kevin Nicholas said: “The supporters, players and officials of both Dewsbury and ourselves are huge rivals on the pitch and nothing will change in this important game.

“However, we are all united both as Rugby League people and Heavy Woollen District friends. We hope we can all come together and demonstrate how proud we are of one of our own in Jo Cox and also the pride we have for the bravery of Bernard Kenny.

“We understand the sunflower was a favourite flower of Jo and it is also appropriate for her and a celebration of her life as anyone who ever met her will know that with her infectious smile and unbounding energy and enthusiasm for life, she could not fail to brighten anyone’s day.

“It is a very sad occasion but we also wish to highlight the joy and goodness Jo brought to our community.”

The game coincides with Armed Forces Day and the Yorkshire Regiment will be present at the stadium with activities for children and a live band performing behind the Glen Tomlinson Stand.

Supporters attending Sunday’s derby are asked to arrive before 2.45pm, when tributes to Jo are due to begin.