THE clock is ticking down towards Jimmy Watson’s eagerly awaited benefit match.

Hunslet’s ace fullback, who is in his testimonial year, will be the centre of attention on Saturday (29 April) when the Betfred League 1 promotion challengers host top amateur outfit Drighlington – who could include several former Hunslet players, including prop Michael Haley, in their ranks – in what promises to be an entertaining contest.

The Parksiders’ assistant coach Ryan Jackson has helped facilitate Drighlington’s involvement. ‘Jacko’, a former player and coach with the Impact Performance National Conference League outfit, said: “I was only too happy to put the wheels in motion and help sort opponents for Jimmy’s big day. I’ve remained close to Drig and knew that they were without a fixture. Playing a League 1 side can further help their progress, as they’re looking good this season. So it came together quite naturally.”

The Parksiders’ head coach Alan Kilshaw, meanwhile, will use the game, which is taking place during a break in Hunslet’s regular fixtures, to further hone what is still a new-look squad this season, and to give those players who have had little regular Rugby League in recent weeks, through gaps in the League 1 programme, a valuable run-out.

Watson himself could also feature, despite having recently suffered a serious injury to a finger at work. His input, however, is likely to be minimal, although he will also oversee a crossbar challenge for young supporters during the interval.

The match kicks off at 1.00pm, although the doors to the South Leeds Stadium will open at 11.00am on what will be a day for all the family.

Jimmy and his supportive team of volunteers – led by his unfailingly supportive missus Charlene – have organised facepainting, cake and sweet stalls, a tombola and other entertainment. The Phoenix Suite and the Parkside bar will both be open, with food (hot dogs) being served from the Phoenix.

The face painting and tombola will be based in the Dug Out bar, and there are some great prizes to be won – including a Jimmy Watson face mask!!!

And, after the match, a Karaoke Challenge will be held in the Phoenix Suite. Jimmy and club chairman Kenny Sykes have been billed as hot favourites to take the Karaoke King title although that most irrepressible of chanteurs, former Hunslet prop Steve Pryce, also somehow fancies his chances.

Meanwhile Jimmy, a man of many talents, has designed his own testimonial kit for the occasion. Supporters can purchase limited edition shirts for £40 each which, numbered 1-20 and bearing the name `Watson’, will be loaned to the players for the game and will be presented, by Jimmy himself, to the respective buyers post-match. Demand has been high but remaining shirts can be purchased by visiting

Jimmy said: “It will be a great day and a big thank you is due to our stewarding provider True Staffing Solutions, who are providing support free of charge for the game. It’s a fantastic gesture and I’m very grateful.”

Admission is £10 (£5 concessions, under 16s free).