Ben Cockayne hangs up his boots

James Gordon

York veteran Ben Cockayne has called time on his playing career.

Cockayne, 35, made his name at Hull KR, helping them to promotion to Super League in 2006, having only made his professional debut for Hunslet at the age of 21.

He also played for Doncaster, Featherstone and Wakefield, as well as representing England.

The former Normanton junior, who joined York ahead of the 2018 season and helped them to the League 1 title, picked up a knee injury in the win over Swinton back in April.

In an open letter, Cockayne said: “After receiving the news that my knee needs reconstruction surgery I’ve decided to call time on my career.

“I’ve been fortunate to play a large amount of my career on the top tier in the UK.

“In the last 18 months being involved with York City Knights has been a very rewarding and fulfilling part of my career.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my role on the field, non more so than promotion as champions in 2018 against all the odds.

“Not forgetting my move into the half back position that I hadn’t played since my amateur days. It gave me a new lease of life and brought a whole new level of enjoyment to my participation in the sport.

“I had a personal goal to go on and reach 400 appearances, obviously that’s not going to come to fruition but I’m extremely satisfied and proud of the 350+ appearances I have made in the professional game.”

Cockayne also paid tribute to former Wakefield coach Richard Agar, Hull KR owner Neil Hudgell and his family.

He will continue to work for the Knights in his role as Partnerships Manager.