Leeds & West Yorkshire

Thousands pay tribute to rugby player Danny Jones

Keighley player Danny Jones
Image caption Keighley's Danny Jones died after falling ill in a game against London Skolars

Thousands of rugby league fans paid tribute to Keighley player Danny Jones at the club's first home game since his death last Sunday.

Jones, 29, collapsed by the side of the pitch six minutes into the game at London Skolars and was later pronounced dead of a suspected cardiac arrest.

Fans at the Keighley ground gave applause on the sixth minute of the Cougars' home game against Coventry.

Jones' shirt number six has been retired by the Keighley club.

His widow Lizzie went on to the pitch before the game when balloons in the West Yorkshire club's colours were released.

Writing in the match day programme she said: "I'm so happy my wonderful Danny finished his days playing the sport he adored, at a club he treasured with lads he thought the world of.

"Danny was the best daddy and husband in the whole world; he made us smile every single day.

"I want everyone to remember his passion and commitment and, most of all, his contagious, infectious smile.

Image copyright Keighley Cougars
Image caption Balloons were released at the ground as a mark of respect to Danny Jones.

"I will bring his beautiful babies up to make him proud. The legacy he has left will last forever. I could not be any prouder of my beautiful man."

Keighley chairman Gary Fawcett hopes a fund set up for Jones' family will eventually top £1m.

Donations for Danny Jones's widow, Lizzie, and their five-month-old twins has already passed £70,000.

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