A trio of ‘Keighley lads’ have voiced their whole-hearted support for the town’s Cougars rugby league team prior to their crunch Tetley’s Challenge Cup match next month.

Responding to news the Cougars have been drawn away to the mighty Widnes in the quarter-finals of the prestigious competition, Keighley MP Kris Hopkins joined Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles and Labour MP for Leyton and Wanstead John Cryer to cheer on the team last week from outside the Houses of Parliament.

Mr Pickles is originally from Keighley, as is Mr Cryer, who is the son of former Keighley MPs Ann and Bob Cryer.

Mr Hopkins said: “You should support your local team, shouldn’t you? I thought this was a good chance to get three Keighley lads together. I went to school with John – he’s a very good friend.”

Keighley Cougars have reached the last eight in the competition for the first time since 1997. The quarter-finals will be played during the weekend of June 7/8. Although Widnes are firm favourites, Cougars chairman Gary Fawcett has said he believes his side has the ability to cause an upset.