A BRITISH Asian rugby pioneer received a lifetime achievement award at a special Eid celebration event held at Odsal Stadium prior to a Bradford Bulls match.

Dr Ikram Butt, founder of the British Asian Rugby Association (BARA) and the first Asian player to represent England in either code, has been recognised for his services to rugby league, the community and charitable causes.

Dr Butt received his award from RFL CEO Ralph Rimmer, Bulls chairman Nigel Wood and Lord Lieutenant Iqbal Bhana OBE DL.

Fellow BARA pioneer Junaid Malik was also recognised for his contribution to the sport and the wider community.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: The special Eid celebration event held at Odsal was a great successThe special Eid celebration event held at Odsal was a great success

Mr Butt said: “It was a fantastic event, the first of its kind, that demonstrated Bradford Bulls' commitment to the Muslim community.

"It was a nice bonus that both Junaid and myself have been recognised in this way.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Junaid Malik also gained an awardJunaid Malik also gained an award

“Breaking down racial barriers through sport has been my overriding objective since I finished my playing career and this event was a perfect reflection of that aim.

“There is simply no excuse for any kind of racism in sport or society at large.

"It achieves nothing and I will continue to tackle it every way I can through my community work alongside Junaid and others."