Hundred set to pay their respects to rugby star

Lizzie Jones, Danny Jones' widow, comes out to support her late husband with their twins prior to a balloon release at Cougar Park, Keighley
Lizzie Jones, Danny Jones' widow, comes out to support her late husband with their twins prior to a balloon release at Cougar Park, Keighley

A celebration of remembrance for a former Halifax rugby player will take place at Brighouse Sports and Social Club next week.

Danny Jones died after being taken ill during Keighley Cougars’ match against Coventry.

A post-mortem showed he suffered from undiagnosed hereditary heart disease that resulted in a cardiac arrest.

The 29-year-old leaves a widow, Lizzie, and five-month-old twins Phoebe and Bobby.

His funeral will take place at St Mary’s Church, Gibbet Street, Halifax, on Friday, May 22, at noon. The wake will follow at Brighouse Rangers ARLFC, Russell Way, Brighouse.

”We want people to come in their rugby jerseys and wear bright colours to remember his wonderful fun personality,” said his wife Lizzie.

The rugby league community has rallied round the family with money being raised which will now be put into a special trust fund for the twins.

“We are totally overwhelmed by ordinary people’s generosity in supporting us.

“These are the most difficult times and our family find great comfort from our wider rugby league family.

“Danny loved playing rugby league. The Keighley Cougars Club have been fantastic and we are grateful for the rugby league support which we have received from around the world. Thank you all very much”.

A JustGiving page has raised almost £125,000.

Halifax-born Jones played 54 first team games for Halifax RLFC. In those two spells he scored 334 points from 17 tries, 132 goals and two drop goals.

Tributes were left on the gates at Keighley’s Cougar Park ground and before their weekend game family and friends united.

Lizzie received an emotional reception as she took to the field with their five-month-old twins as Keighley fans paid their respects to her late husband. A crowd of 4,066 - more than four times last season’s average - turned out for Keighley’s League One match against Coventry.

The match went ahead at the request of the Jones family and the kick-off was put back by 15 minutes to allow the hordes of fans into Cougar Park.