Fund shows Danny’s death was not in vain

Halifax Courier - - Businesses Bid To Shape The Future Of Town - By Felic­ity Macnamara

Lizzie Jones, the widow of for­merHal­i­faxRLFCs­tarDanny Jones,haslaunchedanew cam­paign­toraise­money­for­po­ten­tially life-sav­ing equip­ment forRug­byLeague­club­sacross theUK. The­brave­mum-of-two,whore­ducedaWem­b­l­ey­crowd­totears and moved mil­lions more with an emo­tional per­for­mance at the BBC Sports Per­son­al­ity of the Year Award, is spear­head­ing the Danny Jones De­fib­ril­la­tor Fund, named in hon­our of her late hus­band.

Danny, a Keigh­ley Cougars and Wales in­ter­na­tional half­back, col­lapsed and died from anun­di­ag­nosed­heart­con­di­tion while play­ing against Lon­don Sko­lars last May.

Fol­low­ing his tragic death, Lizzie suc­cess­fully cam­paigned for car­diac screen­ing to be­come manda­tory at ev­ery King­stone Press Cham­pi­onship and League 1 club, as it al­ready is in the First Util­ity Su­per League.

Now, Lizzie has joined forces with the RFL Benev­o­lent Fund to raise money to cre­ate a fund that will pro­vide as­sis­tance to hun­dreds of com­mu­nity clubs and ju­nior teams across the coun­try to pur­chase a de­fib­ril­la­tor.

De­fib­ril­la­tors cost around £1,000 each and pro­vide po­ten­tially life- sav­ing treat­ment to any­one suf­fer­ing a heart at­tack. Lizzie said: “This is my way of say­ing a big ‘thank you’ to the wider Rugby League fam­ily for all they have done for me and my chil­dren since we lost Danny.

“The pro­fes­sional and semi-pro­fes­sional play­ers are now get­ting screened, which is fan­tas­tic, and it’s im­por­tant that we do all we can to pro­tect the wel­fare of the men, women and chil­dren who gain so much plea­sure from play­ing the game at com­mu­nity level.

“£1,000 doesn’t seem like a lot of money but as any­one who’s been in­volved with grass­roots sport will know, ev­ery penny mat­ters and I am proud to be as­so­ci­ated with an­other pro­ject which means Danny’s death will not have been in vain.”

To kick off the fund, Lizzie made a per­sonal do­na­tion of £1,000 and she hopes that more will be added in the weeks and months ahead.

The cam­paign has set a fund- rais­ing tar­get of £50,000. To make a do­na­tion please visit www.rflbenev­o­lent­fund.co.uk or visit www. just­giv­ing.com/danny-jones­de­fib­ril­la­tor-fund

Lizzie Jones . BELOW: RL star Danny Jones play­ing for Hal­i­fax

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