Leeds Rhinos to pay tribute to club legend John Atkinson

John Atkinson.
John Atkinson.
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Leeds Rhinos’ game against Hull KR at Elland Road on Thursday will be dedicated to the memory of club legend John Atkinson.

The Betfred Super League round two fixture is Rhinos’ first in Leeds since Atkinson’s death, at the age of 71, in December.

There will be a minute’s applause in his memory before kick-off and during the tribute the former winger’s 12-year-old grandson Oscar McInnis will bring the match ball on to the pitch escorted by two of Atkinson’s friends, team mate Alan Smith and Leeds United legend Eddie Gray.

Atkinson is Leeds’ second-highest try scorer with 340 from 1966-82 and only three players have made more than his 518 appearances for the club.

There will be footage of Atkinson in action on the stadium’s big screen and the matchday programme will include tributes from friends, teammates and supporters.