KEIGHLEY Cougars chairman Mick O'Neill has been speaking to the club, in his first interview since recovering from his near-death Covid experience.

In his programme notes ahead of the win over Swinton at the weekend, he said: "It’s great to be back writing these notes after contracting Covid and spending a few weeks in Airedale (Hospital).

"I feel extremely fortunate to have come out the other side.

"I have no doubts that the fine doctors and nurses at Airedale saved my life - they have been called superheroes throughout this pandemic, I assure you they are more than superheroes.

"The care I had from the round-the-clock, the one-on-one care I had in ICU from the doctors and nurses, to the friendly staff who brought the meals, and to the experienced porters.

"All the staff there at Airedale are exceptional and I owe them a debt of gratitude for what they did for me.

"The road back to full health will take a while as the virus has weakened me quite considerably, so I won’t be visible at Cougar Park for a while.

"I am working on my recovery and am determined to be back at the games, roaring the lads on as soon as I’m able."

O'Neill has been cheered by Cougars' fantastic opening to 2022, on and off the field, saying: "The start to the season has been just what we hoped.

"We are fully aware this is going to be a tough season with strong opponents, and we’re backing Rhys (Lovegrove) and Andrew (Henderson) 100 per cent with anything they need.

"What a great achievement it was to win the Bradford Sports Award (for Club of the Year), beating the Bulls into third place.

"It’s a credit to our team both on and off the field to be recognised for the work that goes on in the community and beyond.

"I hope you’re enjoying the expansion of food and beverage options in the main entrance. We’re working hard to offer a fun day out for everyone, and I believe a varied and interesting offering in terms of merchandise and refreshments is important.

"There will be more to come as the club continues to grow, especially if we can keep winning on the field.

"I want to express my thanks to our amazing team of volunteers who continue to work behind the scenes making the club ship-shape and something we are all proud of.

"To dedicate time and effort like the volunteer team do, is really incredible and I will always be grateful to them."