Batley Bulldogs have pulled of a major coup by attracting heavyweight boxer Dave Allen to be a guest at their Betfred Championship game with Toronto Wolfpack on June 30 thanks to a cheeky request from one of their sponsors.
Boxing fans Donna and Paul Clayton — of Signature Resin Floors based in Halifax — saw a Twitter post from Allen inviting bids for his shorts from his recent victory over Lucas Browne in aid of charity.
In a reply to Allen, who is known as The White Rhino, Paul and Donna said they would pledge £1,000 if Allen would present the shorts in person to the Bulldogs.
Donna explained: “We are big boxing fans and have followed Dave’s career since the beginning.
“When we saw his post asking for bids for his shorts, we asked if he would come to a Batley game.
“Since then, we have been in touch via direct message and he is really looking forward to coming to the Toronto game, which is live on Sky Sports.
“Hopefully, Dave’s appearance will attract a few more people to the game and help raise the profile of both the Bulldogs and himself.”
Signature Resin Floors began sponsoring Batley having been invited as guests to a corporate day last season and Donna admits they are now ardent Bulldogs fans, attending home and away games.
Donna said: “We were invited to a game last year and got talking to Danny Maun, who asked if we would like to get on board.
“Batley is a lovely club and has a real family feel and going to the rugby has become a feature of our week, taking our kids to games.
“We have really taken the plunge and are hoping to make a big day out of the Toronto game, with other things planned to make a real day of it and we are hoping to attract a big crowd, including fans of other clubs.
“It will be great to get Dave up to the club and we are really looking forward to meeting him but we have said it will be soft drinks only for him as he will be training for his fight with David Price.”
Allen meets Liverpool’s Price at London’s O2 Arena on July 20 as he looks to break into the World top 10 rankings.
Attracting Allen to the Bulldogs is not the first time Paul and Donna have persuaded a major sportsman to support the club.
On a holiday last year the couple met former Rangers footballer Ally McCoist, who sent a good luck message to Matt Diskin and the team, which went viral via social media.
Donna added: “We got talking to Ally on holiday and we asked him if he would pose for a photo in a Bulldogs shirt.
“He went one better and posted a video message, which really took off on Twitter.”
Bulldogs commercial manager Maun is delighted with the support Donna and Paul have offered the club this season and is hoping they will become long term sponsors.
Maun said: “When I got into the commercial side, I realised how hard it was attracting new sponsors.
“Donna and Paul came to a game and really enjoyed it and they now have a box at home games.
“They have been brilliant for the club and we hope it will become a long term relationship.
“For them to get Ally McCoist to do that video and now getting Dave Allen to come to the club is really helping raise our profile.
“They have shown how important social media can be to promote things. We are looking forward to Dave coming to the game and hope he enjoys his day with us.”