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Rugby League fans take defibrillator campaign to their hearts

Rugby League Cares has received almost 50 enquiries from community and junior Rugby League clubs interested in purchasing life-saving cardiac equipment with support from the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund.

The fund stands at over £16,000 and with a wide range of activities planned in the weeks ahead, that figure is set to rocket, enabling RL Cares and the RFL Benevolent Fund to help clubs and community groups up and down the country.

The fund was set up in memory of Danny Jones, the former Wales and Keighley half-back who tragically died while playing for the Cougars against London Skolars last year.

Tests subsequent revealed that Danny was suffering from a previously undiagnosed heart condition, a tragedy which has led to cardiac screening for players becoming compulsory in all three professional competitions.

Danny’s wife, Lizzie is campaigning strongly for more awareness of healthy hearts across the wider game and is actively leading the defibrillator campaign, which will see dozens of the machines which cost £1,000 each being presented to clubs in the next few months.

“It’s been an incredible campaign, the response from all the Rugby League family and others has been absolutely brilliant,” said Lizzie.

“I’ve been blown away by some of the charity events people have organised to raise money for the defibrillator fund: we’ve created a huge buzz on social media and we want that to continue.

“I can’t think of any better way to celebrate Danny’s memory than this: his legacy to the game will be lasting and inspiring.

“Until last year I’d heard about defibrillators but wasn’t sure what they did. When you consider how simply they can save a life, and that they only cost £1,000, then it’s only right that we should have one at every Rugby League match and training session.

“You just never know when they may be needed, for players, officials or even spectators. Danny’s memory is changing the way people think about health issues in Rugby League and I’m sure the sport will continue to get behind the campaign.”

The defibrillator fund has set a target of £50,000: to make a donation please click here

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