26 Jan 2023
Lizzie Jones MBE returns to Keighley Cougars for 2023 Betfred Championship launch
Lizzie Jones MBE returned to Cougar Park, where the main stand is named after her husband Danny, to present the first of seven defibrillators to Masters Rugby League, as part of the continuing fund-raising efforts in Danny’s memory.
Lizzie set up the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund in partnership with the Rugby League Benevolent Fund following the tragic loss of her husband when he was playing for Keighley Cougars in 2015 – and it has allowed the purchase of hundreds of defibrillators through all levels of the sport.
The latest defibrillators, which provide potentially life-saving treatment to anyone suffering a cardiac arrest, have been presented to Masters Rugby League, which has been such a success story in keeping older players involved in the sport since it was introduced to England in 2008.
Martin Flynn, the National Chair of Masters Rugby League, was presented with one of the defibrillators by Lizzie in front of the Danny Jones Stand at a media function at Cougar Park ahead of Keighley’s return to the Betfred Championship in 2023 – which begins on Monday week, February 6, with a home game against Sean Long’s Featherstone Rovers which will be televised live by Viaplay Sports.
“Lizzie has done a wonderful job with the Defibrillator Fund, both in keeping Danny’s memory alive, and in promoting safety across all levels of Rugby League,” said Martin Flynn.
“Masters Rugby League have always been huge supporters of the Benevolent Fund in general, and of Lizzie’s work in particular. It’s been a huge advance for sport in general and especially Rugby League that more defibrillators are available at more venues and fixtures, and we are delighted and grateful that will now be the case for Masters Rugby League.”
Lizzie Jones MBE said: “We set up the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund in Danny’s memory, and to thank the Rugby League family for the support they gave to us when we lost Danny more than seven years ago.
“It’s humbling to think of how many defibrillators we have been able to supply as a result of the generosity that so many people are continuing to show.
“Going back to Keighley is always poignant and special for me, and to be able to make this presentation to Masters Rugby League in front of the Danny Jones Stand at Cougar Park was extra special.
“I was thrilled to see the club earn promotion back to the Championship last season, and the best of luck to the Cougars and all the other teams in Betfred Championship and League One in 2023.”
The Betfred Championship kicks off on Saturday February 4 when Barrow Raiders host Toulouse Olympique in a fixture that will be streamed live on the Our League app.
That is followed by five fixtures on Sunday February 5 (see below), before the opening round concludes with the first Monday Night Rugby League of the season live on Viaplay Sports, as newly-promoted Keighley Cougars host ambitious Featherstone Rovers.
The Betfred League One season kicks off two weeks later with London Skolars hosting Workington Town on Saturday February 18, and three games on Sunday February 19 including Midlands Hurricanes hosting Cornwall RLFC at their new home base, the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.
Saturday February 4 – Barrow Raiders v Toulouse Olympique (3pm – live on Our League)
Sunday February 5 – Bradford Bulls v Whitehaven (3pm), Halifax Panthers v Sheffield Eagles (3pm), London Broncos v Batley Bulldogs (3pm), Swinton Lions v Newcastle Thunder (3pm), York Knights v Widnes Vikings (3pm)
Monday February 6 – Keighley Cougars v Featherstone Rovers (745pm – live on Viaplay Sports)
Betfred League One
Saturday February 18 – London Skolars v Workington Town (3pm)
Sunday February 19 – North Wales Crusaders v Dewsbury Rams (230pm), Doncaster v Hunslet (3pm), Midlands Hurricanes v Cornwall (3pm)