Wednesday 28 September 2016

Respects to be paid this weekend to Welsh rugby international (29) who died of suspected cardiac arrest

Published 05/05/2015 | 18:34

Danny Jones
Pic: Keighley Courgars
Danny Jones Pic: Keighley Courgars

A minute's silence will be held across rugby league this weekend as a mark of respect for Keighley's Wales international Danny Jones.

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The Rugby Football League are calling on all professional and community clubs to honour the Cougars stand-off, who died of a suspected cardiac arrest during last Sunday's League One game at London Skolars.

Keighley's own match against Coventry at Cougar Park on Sunday will go ahead at the request of Jones' family.

Jones, who was 29, leaves a wife Liz and five-month-old twins.

"Danny's family have requested that the game goes ahead and we're going to honour that request," Keighley chairman Gary Fawcett told Press Association Sport.

"We had asked the players if they wanted to play and some of them were in two minds. They were going to have a meeting tonight but the family have said that Danny would want the game to be played so we're going to play the game.

"I know that our players are hurting but they will do Danny proud on Sunday."

Fawcett said Jones' family will be among a bumper crowd, with fans from other clubs expected to flock to Cougar Park to demonstrate their support, but the chairman has asked for privacy.

"The family will be there on Sunday," he said. "They'll probably watch the game from the executive suite.

"I know people mean well but it can be a bit overwhelming. They will probably just want to sit and think and absorb it all."

Read more: Keighley retire jersey after death of Welsh rugby international (29) following suspected cardiac arrest

Jones, who won his 12th Welsh cap in the 2013 World Cup, scored more than 1,000 points in two spells with the Cougars after starting out at his home-town club Halifax.

Keighley have already said they intend to retire Jones' number six jersey and announced on Tuesday they will rename their main stand at Cougar Park after the popular player.

"Despite his one year over at Halifax, he was our number six," Fawcett said. "No other player in the squad is going to want to wear that jersey and I doubt whether anybody would want to wear it in the future.

"We view him as irreplaceable and that's why we've retired the number six jersey.

"And the least the club could do is name the main stand after him. I've also requested that he be inducted into the club's Hall of Fame."

Meanwhile, the RFL's benevolent fund set up to support Jones' family broke through the £50,000 mark on Tuesday as fans, players and administrators continued to rally round.

London Broncos will donate £2 for every ticket sold for Sunday's game against Featherstone at The Hive and will hold a bucket collection while chairman David Hughes says he will personally donate £1,000.

"The game has shown so much love and support for Danny and his family, it's almost overwhelming," Fawcett added. "The benevolent fund is going up all the time and let's keep it moving upwards.

"The club are going to give a third of the gate from Sunday to Liz and the twins and all fund raising within the ground that day will be exclusively for the benevolent fund that has been set up.

"Coventry Bears have been in touch with me and their players are going to give up a portion of their match money."

Read more: Rugby player dies after suffering suspected heart attack during game

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