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The RFL

17 Nov 2021

Lizzie Jones receives MBE

Lizzie Jones receives MBE

The widow of Danny Jones, the Rugby League player who died from an undiagnosed heart problem six years ago, says she is determined his death will not be in vain after collecting an MBE.

Lizzie Jones, 39, established the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund following her husband's death during a Keighley Cougars match in May 2015.

She was honoured for her services to Rugby League and charity after helping to raise almost £200,000.

Jones, a singer who has graced many pre-match occasions across Rugby League, memorably taking the stage at Wembley ahead of the Challenge Cup Final just three month after her late husband's death, said she was 'still emotional' after receiving the award.

Danny Jones, 29, collapsed while playing in a game against London Skolars. He died from cardiomyopathy, which could have been diagnosed by an echocardiogram screening.

Lizzie Jones collected the award from the Princess Royal at a ceremony in Windsor Castle on Tuesday.

"I said to the Princess Royal that there is nothing I can do to bring him back but what I can do is to try and change the future in his memory and hopefully try and stop it from happening to somebody else's husband or son by getting them checked," she said.

"If Danny had that screening, he might have been saved.

"It is just a wonderful thought that a lot of people have been saved because of him. The defibrillators are there in case the worst happens, and people are protected because of him."

Jones said their now six year old twins call their late father their 'guardian angel' and she felt her husband was "probably looking down on her" and thinking she was "doing something so positive and making our children proud hopefully".

The widow has undertaken a number of events to raise funds including marathons and 10k runs.

Her charity work has helped change the rules within Rugby League to ensure all semi-professional players receive an annual cardiac screening.