Cougars to play on as sport pays its respect to tragic Jones

A minute’s silence will be held across rugby league this weekend as a mark of respect for Keighley’s Wales international Danny Jones.

Danny Jones, pictured in action for Wales against New Zealand.

The Rugby Football League are calling on all professional and community clubs to honour the Cougars stand-off, who died following a suspected cardiac arrest during last Sunday’s League One game at London Skolars.

Keighley’s match against Coventry at Cougar Park on Sunday will go ahead at the request of Jones’s family.

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Jones, who was 29, leaves a wife, Liz, and five-month-old twins.

“Danny’s family have requested that the game goes ahead and we’re going to honour that request,” said Keighley chairman Gary Fawcett.

“We had asked the players if they wanted to play and some of them were in two minds. They were going to have a meeting, but the family have said that Danny would want the game to be played so we’re going to play the game.

“I know that our players are hurting, but they will do Danny proud on Sunday.”

Fawcett said Jones’s family will be among a bumper crowd, with fans from other clubs expected to flock to Cougar Park to demonstrate their support, but the chairman has asked for privacy. T”he family will be there on Sunday,” he said. “They’ll probably watch the game from the executive suite.

“I know people mean well, but it can be a bit overwhelming. They will probably just want to sit and think and absorb it all.”

Jones, who won his 12th Welsh cap in the 2013 World Cup, scored more than 1,000 points in two spells with the Cougars after starting out at his home-town club Halifax. Keighley have already said they intend to retire Jones’s No 6 jersey and will rename their main stand at Cougar Park after him.

“Despite his one year over at Halifax, he was our No 6,” added Fawcett. “No other player in the squad is going to want to wear that jersey and I doubt whether anybody would want to wear it in the future.”

The RFL’s benevolent fund set up to support Jones’s family broke through the £50,000 mark yesterday as fans, players and administrators continued to rally round.