Bernard Kenny: The have-a-go hero who showed 'selfless courage' in the face of pure hatred

Bernard Kenny, the humble have-a-go hero who showed "selfless courage" in an attempt to protect murdered MP Jo Cox from her attacker, has died aged 79.

Brave Bernard Kenny, the man who tried to save Jo Cox, has died.

The pensioner, who was awarded the George Medal for bravery in June, previously described being stabbed by Thomas Mair in Birstall, West Yorkshire, after grappling with the neo-Nazi in an effort to save her life.

Mr Kenny, who was 78 at the time of the incident last June, made a statement from his hospital bed where he was recovering from the attack in which he said he had witnessed Mair going "beserk" at the time of the murder.

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He said: "I ran across. I was intending to jump on his shoulders. He had his back to me. I thought if I could jump on to the back I could take him down.

Jo Cox was murdered in 2016.

"I thought he was thumping her until I saw the blood. I saw he had a knife in his hands. It was what I call a dagger. The blade was about nine inches.

"Just as I got short of him, he turned around and saw me. He shoved the knife in and it hit me in the stomach.

"The blood started pouring out between my fingers. I saw the blood and I thought 'Oh my God'."

More than 80,000 people signed an online petition calling for the former miner to be awarded the George Cross for his bravery.

Jo Cox was murdered in 2016.

A letter posted on the petition site said: "We the undersigned wish that Bernard Kenny's act of supreme bravery should be recognised by the highest honour the UK Government can bestow.

"At this time when the country is dominated by fear and hate, we think that a man motivated only by selfless courage and love should be honoured in this way, and quickly."

During his mining career, Kenny had been part of the Gomersal Mines Rescue team who tried to save victims of the Lofthouse mine disaster in 1973.

He was prasied by Jo Cox's friends and family for his valiancy and made the guest of honour at a rugby match between Batley Bulldogs and Dewsbury Rams, where he laid a sunflower on the pitch in memory of Mrs Cox.

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