Welsh International Danny Jones, 29, Dies After Heart Attack, Leaving Wife And Young Twins

Rugby League Player Dies After Heart Attack During Match

A Welsh international rugby league player, and father of five-month old twins, has died after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest during a match.

Keighley Cougars half-back Danny Jones collapsed after being replaced during the opening minutes of a League 1 match at London Skolars yesterday.

The 29-year-old was treated by the match doctor and paramedics at the ground in north London before being taken to the Royal Free Hospital where he died last night.

Danny Jones, a former Welsh international and half-back for the Keighley Cougars, seen above being tackled by New Zealand's Kieran Foran during the Gillette Four Nations, has died after suffering a suspected cardiac arrest just four minutes into a match yesterday

The Rugby Football League (RFL) said that despite extensive efforts to resuscitate him, Jones had passed away.

His club paid tribute to him in a statement posted on Twitter, saying their thoughts were with his widow Liz and their children.

"Danny was much loved and highly respected by all at the club and in rugby league. He was the life and soul in the dressing room," they said.

"He achieved over 1,000 points and 150 appearances for Keighley Cougars and he will be sorely missed."

It said tributes for Jones can today be left at on the gates and once the ground has been open there will be a picture of "Jonesy" erected behind the sticks in front of the Terry Hollindrake Stand.

Tributes then can be left in front of the stand behind the sticks, "the position of the ground in which Danny kicked last week’s dramatic winning drop goal against the North Wales Crusaders".

Jones was taken off four minutes into the match at the New River Stadium on White Hart Lane after apparently complaining of feeling unwell. An air ambulance was called and he was taken to hospital and the game was abandoned.

Jones' club the Keighley Cougars paid tribute to the player who had scored over 1,000 points for his team

A London Ambulance Service spokesman said London's Air Ambulance and two ambulance crews were sent to the scene and found the patient suffering cardiac arrest.

The RFL's chief operating officer, Ralph Rimmer, said: "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 over 12 seasons for Keighley Cougars and Halifax."

"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."

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Danny Jones

Welsh international Danny Jones

Jones, who was in his second spell with Keighley after also playing for Halifax, made his Wales debut against Italy in 2010 and won the last of his 12 caps in a World Cup group match against Cook Islands in Neath in November 2013.

Wigan forward Ben Flower, a team-mate during the 2013 World Cup, led the tributes.

Flower tweeted: "My thoughts are with Danny's family. Worst possible news. What a great man and even better friend. He will be missed so much. #RIPDannyJones."

Wales RL tweeted: "All at Wales #rugbyleague would like to send our condolences to the family and friends of Danny Jones after his sad passing today."

A spokesman for the players' association, League 13, said: "Our deepest sympathy and condolences go to the family of Danny Jones."

Wigan forward Ben Flower led tributes remembering Jones, who he played with during the 2013 World Cup

Jones is the second rugby league player in just over six years to die after collapsing during a match.

Wakefield forward Leon Walker, who was 20, fell ill during a Wildcats reserve game with Celtic Crusaders in Maesteg in March 2009. It was later discovered that he had an undiagnosed heart defect and a coroner ruled that he died from natural causes.

Just six months earlier, in October 2008, Wakefield's Cook Island international Adam Watene, 31, died after collapsing during a training session.

Leeds half-back Chris Sanderson died on the pitch in a match in 1977.

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