Bevin Boys badge for former RL star

FORMER Batley RL star John Etty was at Downing Street this week to receive a Bevin Boys Veteran's badge from prime minister Gordon Brown.

The Bevin Boys were conscripted or volunteered to work in the mines in the final years of the war when Britain had a severe shortage of coal. Lord Rix (actor Brian Rix), Sir Jimmy Savile and Eric Morecambe were among 48,000 who worked underground, and there has been a campaign for their efforts to be recognised.

John, who lives in Fleetwood, said: "When I was 18 the late Eddie Waring arranged for me to work as a Bevin Boy at Shaw Cross Colliery. It's strange to think that I worked under what is now the Dewsbury RL ground."

John said he met up this week with another ex-Bevin Boy and former Batley team-mate Jackie Perry. They attended a free-and-easy of dancing and singing at Cleveleys WMC.