Rugby league player Danny Jones died of a hereditary heart problem, a post-mortem examination has concluded.
The Keighley Cougars player died last Sunday during a game against London Skolars after collapsing on the pitch.
The post-mortem has concluded that Danny passed away from a cardiac arrest triggered by hereditary heart disease. Tragically, the heart disease was not revealed when Danny underwent an ECG scan in late 2014.
Keighley Cougars Chief Executive Gary Fawcett said: “Whilst the findings of the post-mortem do provide an explanation for why he died, they allow for little comfort for Danny’s family or all those who knew him.
“His tragically premature death is still very painful for everyone, not least because his heart condition could not even be detected by the ECG.
“All we can do now is mourn his passing, celebrate his life and do everything we can for Danny’s wife Lizzie, their children Bobby and Phoebe and their wider family.”
The Just Giving page set up by the RFL Benevolent Fund to raise funds for Danny’s family has already received donations of £77,000 and is expected to grow substantially this weekend, when many clubs are staging fund-raising events.
Keighley will stage a simple bucket collection at their League 1 fixture against Coventry Bears at Cougar Park on Sunday (3.00pm) and Fawcett is urging everyone who attends to donate what they can.
“My message to Rugby League fans is to stick the money you normally spend on a lottery ticket or a half-time pie into the bucket, and add a tenner on top. If we all do that we can make a massive difference to the lives of Danny’s family,” he said.
“£77,000 is an amazing amount of money but it’s not enough: I have complete faith in not just the Rugby League family but everyone involved in sport, from multi-millionaire professional footballers and the people of Wales to the fans on the terraces across the country to do the right thing by the family of a sporting hero.”
Meanwhile his wife Lizzie issued a heart-felt for the match day programme next weekend.
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.
“Thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your support, love and kind wishes. 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. My husband the legend.”
To make a donation please visit www.justgiving.com/dannyjones29