COMEDIAN and accomplished marathon runner Eddie Izzard is being lined up to appear at a memorial event at Birstall’s Oakwell Hall & Country Park in memory of murdered MP Jo Cox.
According to organisers, Mr Izzard has been invited to the Jo Cox Foundation event and has indicated he wants to attend.
Race organiser Julie Smith, who knew Jo before she became MP for Batley and Spen and was a close friend until her death in June last year, said the comedian had given his support to a previous event but was unable to attend due to diary commitments.
Julie, who is involved with MoreInCommon, an arm of the Jo Fox Foundation, which was set up in the wake of the Labour MP’s death to raise money and awareness of the causes she championed, said: “We invited Eddie to another event in March but he was unable to attend and so sent some DVDs instead. We understand there’s a possibility he may be able to come to this event.”
She added: “This all started because a group of Jo’s friends wanted to organise something to honour her around her birthday and to make a fun day out she would have enjoyed. Jo always wanted to join in with the park run at Oakwell and she was so busy she never got the chance.”
Graeme Rayner of Batley Community Choir, who will be singing at the start of the event, said: “We were honoured to be asked to take part in the Run for Jo, having sung in Batley on her birthday last year, when our community was still coming to terms with her death. We’re looking forward to an uplifting day and some of us are even going to run after we sing.”
Kim Leadbeater, Jo’s sister, said: “Events like this were what she was all about - our community coming together with shared passions, whether that be music, food, sport or just a good old fashioned Yorkshire chat. I’ll be running for Jo.”
Jo’s widower Brendan is also understood to be attending the event on June 25. Jo’s birthday would have been on June 22, just a few days before the planned event. Organisers are keen to attract as many runners as possible. All race entrants will receive a goody bag.
Jo Cox was born in 1974 in Batley, became an MP in 2015 and was killed after being shot deliberately by Thomas Mair on June 16 last year.
The event will take place at Oakwell Hall & Country Park, Birstall on June 25, from 9am-4pm
Over 1,000 runners are expected - all entrants will receive a goody bag
Runs will begin at 9.30am (2.5km, £12) and 11am (6-7km, £20), with all money raised going to the Jo Cox
There will be a Mascot’s Race at 1pm, plus music, food and festivities. All welcome
Race entries via RaceBest – email RunForJo@gmail.com for more information.