Leeds & West Yorkshire

Lizzie Jones honoured for charity work

Lizzie Jones
Image caption Lizzie Jones said she was "delighted and honoured" by the award in the New Year Honours

The widow of a rugby league player who died from an undiagnosed heart problem has been appointed MBE in the New Year Honours.

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

Mrs Jones, who is a singer, has carried out a number of fundraising efforts and the fund has raised more than £150,000.

She said she was "delighted and honoured" and proud of her charity.

Mrs Jones' husband died from cardiomyopathy, which could have been diagnosed by an echocardiogram screening.

Her charity work has seen her campaign to develop a long-term screening programme, and has helped change the rules within Rugby League to ensure all semi-professional players receive an annual cardiac screening.

Image copyright Family photo
Image caption Danny Jones died in 2015 when his twins were five months old

Grants from the fund she established have also paid for over 80 defibrillators - 75% of players and supporters are now covered by a defibrillator during matches.

Mrs Jones has undertaken a number of events to raise funds including marathons and 10k runs. She has also sung at numerous sporting events including the Rugby League Challenge Cup Final at Wembley.

Speaking about the honour she said: "It feels surreal.

"I'm just delighted and so honoured. It's not why you do what you do, but to be recognised for what what you have done - the lives the charity has saved.

"I couldn't be prouder to receive the award, but I couldn't be prouder for where the charity is."

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