Half Time Draw In Memory of John Wells

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This week’s Half Time Draw is sponsored In Memory of John Wells who passed away one year ago.

A huge figure in the local Rugby League scene, John was known and loved by many, and of course he was a stalwart Batley supporter as well. He coached at Batley boys for over 13 years, running various age groups up to Under 16s with many of his players turning to the professional game.

John also collected the daily draw for Batley for over 25 years and only stopped when his health prevented him from getting about as easily as he had. All this on top of working at Staincliffe Hospital for 16 years. He gave Jack Broadbent his first rugby ball when he saw him collecting the daily draw, even though Jack was very young when he started playing he always thanked John.

After John passed away the family were overwhelmed with messages from his past players, a perfect tribute to his outstanding work in the community game.

“I’m sure you’ve had many messages to say the same things, and I’m sure you don’t need telling, but what an amazing bloke he was! A true gent. A pillar of the Batley community who touched so many peoples lives! There’s not many a man that can say the same!”
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“I am so sorry to hear the news it was an honour to play for such a great coach and a greater man I am sorry for your loss he will be missed by many.”
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“John was a great man he turned me from a skinny shy lad that couldn’t catch into a rugby player and a more outgoing person , he was like a dad to me.”
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“Another great man gone but never forgotten. Be proud pal because your dad was one of the greatest blokes I’ve ever known while we were growing up.”
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“He was a top bloke , I believe your Dad, Pete and Steve guided me to become a professional rugby player , and my best memories at amateur rugby was at Batley boys on and off the field they were great times”
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“When I missed training or went missing he would turn up at our house and make sure I went back to train god knows with out your dad not guiding me in right direction what road I would have gone down in those times but brilliant memories a great coach and even better bloke all I can do is thank him.”

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“A true Gentlemen who was always support and encouraging to me and massive influence to me as player at my time at Batley under 15,s and through out my professional career.” (Keith Mason)