A touch­ing trib­ute to Danny’s life

Halifax Courier - - Yourcourier - By Felic­ity Macna­mara

A poignant trib­ute will be paid to for­mer Hal­i­fax RLFC player Danny Jones when his widow sings the tra­di­tional Lad­brokes Chal­lenge Cup fi­nal hymn, Abide With Me, prior to kick­off at Wem­b­ley Sta­dium this week­end. Lizzie, the wife of for­mer Keighley Cougars and Wales in­ter­na­tional, is a pro­fes­sional singer and wants to use the oc­ca­sion to thank the Rugby League fam­ily for their heart­felt sup­port since her hus­band’s tragic death in May.

Danny died from un­di­ag­nosed hered­i­tary heart dis­ease af­ter col­laps­ing dur­ing a match against Lon­don Sko­lars, leav­ing be­hind Lizzie and their twins Bobby and Phoebe, who are now eight months old.

Since his tragic and un­timely death, there has been an out­pour­ing of sup­port and more than £230,000 has been do­nated to a trust fund set up by the RFL Benev­o­lent Fund to se­cure the fu­tures of Danny and Lizzie’s chil­dren.

Lizzie Jones said: “It’s fan­tas­tic for me, I’m so ex­cited and happy to be able to do some­thing for Danny and to say ‘Thank you’ to the Rugby League com­mu­nity and to ev­ery­body who has helped and sup­ported me since Danny died.

“I can’t thank peo­ple enough for what they’ve done. They’ve made the most hor­rific point in my life a lit­tle bit more bear­able. The kind­ness has been over­whelm­ing.”

Fol­low­ing Danny’s un­timely death, the RFL has made heart screen­ing for play­ers at Cham­pi­onship and League 1 clubs manda­tory and the pro­file the tragedy has gained is al­ready hav­ing a pos­i­tive im­pact.

“I spoke to a nurse this week who ap­proached me say­ing that a young man came into the hos­pi­tal where she works com­plain­ing of chest pains,” Lizzie added.

“He’s young, he’s a cy­clist and is very fit but had seen what hap­pened to Danny and how it all came out of nowhere.

“That prompted him to go to hos­pi­tal that day where an ECG re­vealed he did have a prob­lem with his heart, which the doc­tors are now treat­ing.

“That de­ci­sion saved his life: Danny saved his life; he’s al­ready sav­ing peo­ple and that’s an im­por­tant legacy.”

It’s a legacy which will live on as other events in Danny’s mem­ory are planned through­out the year.

On Oc­to­ber 11, mem­bers of the Rugby League fam­ily will step out to play a char­ity game at the Shay Sta­dium and all pro­ceeds from the day will go di­rectly to the benev­o­lent fund.

And to celebrate the launch of the event, Lizzie, Phoebe and Bobby will lead the teams out at Hal­i­fax RLFC’s next home game against Sal­ford Red Devils on Septem­ber 5.

A con­cert, ‘Danny Jones One in a Mil­lion’ will also be held at the Vic­to­ria Theatre on Fri­day, Septem­ber 11. See our WOW 24/7 pull­out for more in­for­ma­tion.

Lizzie Jones with twins Phoebe and Bobby

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