The rugby league community has paid tribute to Danny Jones after the Welsh player passed away while playing for the Keighley Cougars on Sunday.
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The 29-year-old, playing for Keighley Cougars away to London Skolars, was reportedly stretchered off the field after collapsing in the early stages of the match at the New River Stadium.
According to AFP, he was treated by a match doctor and paramedics before he was rushed to the Royal Free Hospital in north London, where he was unable to be resuscitated.
The Rugby Football League confirmed Jones’ passing in a statement.
“The RFL has confirmed that Keighley Cougars player Danny Jones passed away this evening after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest during a League 1 match against London Skolars,” the statement read.
“Jones who was 29, collapsed after being replaced early in the match and was treated by the match doctor and paramedics at the ground before being taken to the Royal Free Hospital. Despite extensive efforts to resuscitate him, Jones passed away at the hospital.”
RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer said Jones was a popular figure amongst the rugby league community.
“It is always devastating when someone so young dies in these circumstances. Danny was a popular and talented Rugby League player, having played at the highest level with the Wales National team and playing over 12 seasons for Keighley Cougars and Halifax,” Rimmer said in the statement.
“The Rugby League community will mourn his loss and I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Danny’s family and friends at this incredibly sad time. The family, friends and team mates of Danny are currently and will continue to be supported by the RFL Benevolent Fund and Sporting Chance.
“We would ask that the privacy of the Jones family, players and Keighley Cougars staff be respected.”
The rugby league community took to social media to pay tribute to Jones, who was part of Wales’ 2013 World Cup squad:
— Keighley Cougars (@Cougarmania) May 3, 2015
— NRL (@NRL) May 3, 2015
Devastated to wake up to the news about Danny Jones thoughts are with the family at this sad time #ripbud
— Gareth Widdop (@garethwiddop) May 3, 2015
Awful news about Danny Jones. Thoughts are with his family and everyone at @Cougarmania
— sam tomkins (@samtomkins1) May 3, 2015
Devastating news regarding Danny Jones.. Thoughts are with his family and friends. RIP mate
— Shaun Lunt (@Shaun_Lunt) May 3, 2015
My thoughts & prayers got out to the family & friends of Danny Jones, puts life & the game totally in perspective #rugbyleaguefamily
— Richard Mathers (@RichardMathers) May 3, 2015
Rip Danny Jones thought go out to your fam and the rugby family is behind you # YOU NEVER KNOW WHEN YOUR TIMES UP SAD TIMES
— RYAN BAILEY (@RBTESTIMON16L) May 3, 2015