BRADFORD born rugby league star John Bateman is auctioning off his match worn shirt to raise money to support the young children of Matthew Keenan, with the bidding now open.

You can put in your offer by following this link.

Bateman, 27, took to the field for Wigan Warriors earlier this month against Salford Red Devils, wearing a special shirt embroidered with a special message for Mr Keenan.

It comes following the tragic death of the popular 34-year-old father of three on July 25 at Bradford Royal Infirmary from Covid-19.

The story of the much-loved Bierley man was brought to prominence after Dr Leanne Cheyne shared a photo of Mr Keenan on a ventilator at BRI, admitted with Covid-19 after being a self-confessed vaccine skeptic and not getting the vaccine.

It has brought an outpouring of grief for Mr Keenan, with tributes from Bateman, the Bulls’ George Flanagan, local musicians Bad Boy Chiller Crew and Bradford’s Sunday League, with Mr Keenan a familiar face with the Station Hotel team.


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Bateman, who grew up in Dudley Hill and rose to prominence as a teenager with Bradford Bulls, said on Instagram before the game: “Last week I wore you on my wrist brother, this week I’ll have you on my shirt.

“After this game I’ll be putting my shirt up for auction to help raise money for Matthew Keenan’s three young children who have lost their Dad.

“Thanks to Wigan for helping me do this, I really appreciate it.”

During a match the week before against Leigh, Bateman wrote ‘Keenan’ on his wrist strapping in tribute to his friend, and his shirt for Salford was embroidered with the message “Matthew Luke Keenan, YNWA” (You’ll Never Walk Alone).

There has been a huge outpouring of support for Mr Keenan’s family following his death, with thousands raised online to support his young family.

Mr Keenan’s funeral took place on Monday, August 9, at St John’s Church in Bierley, followed by a private service at Scholemoor Crematorium.

The current winning bid for the shirt, at the time of writing, is £760.