Keighley rugby league great Len Ward, 85, died last Friday morning at Airedale Hospital.

Mr Ward, who was from Steeton, played for Keighley in the 1940s and 50s and also represented Yorkshire. He was inducted into the Cougars Hall of Fame a few years ago, one of just 12 people to be honoured by the club Mr Ward, originally from Castleford, moved to the Keighley area when he was 14.

His son-in-law Ian Townley said he tried his hand at boxing before he started to play rugby league.

Mr Townley said that Mr Ward was spotted by Tommy Holmes, who helped him develop his rugby league skills.

Mr Ward signed for Keighley RLFC in 1944. He played for 12 years on the right wing, gaining his first Yorkshire cap in the 1949/50 season.

He stayed loyal to the Lawkholme Lane club, despite a big money offer from Huddersfield.

Mr Townley said that many Keighley fans also felt Mr Ward should have received Great Britain recognition.

He added: "He probably would have represented Great Britain had he moved to a more fashionable club but he was loyal to Keighley."

Mr Ward was inducted into the club's hall of fame at Cougar Park, along with Roy Sabine, in March 1999.

Mr Ward was remembered with a minute's silence before Monday night's Keighley game against Swinton at Cougar Park.

Mr Ward's great-grandson, six-year-old Joe Fox, of Oakworth, also was given the opportunity to lead Barry Eaton's men out onto the field.

Townley said Mr Ward's family were very moved by the Cougars' tribute, saying: "They made us feel very welcome."

A funeral for Mr Ward will be held Friday at St Stephen's Church in Steeton. It starts at 2.45pm.