LIZZIE Jones – widow of tragic Keighley Cougars star Danny – has been named a Woman of the Year.

She will join more than 400 people at a glittering awards dinner in London later this year.

The accolade is in recognition of Mrs Jones’s campaign to get lifesaving defibrillators into rugby league clubs throughout the country.

She instigated the initiative following the death of her husband Danny, who collapsed during a match in May last year.

The Welsh international half-back and club captain was later found to have a hereditary heart condition.

The defibrillator project, which is run in conjunction with the RFL Benevolent Fund, has already raised enough money for more than 30 clubs to receive the devices.

Mrs Jones has personally presented machines to several West Yorkshire rugby clubs, plus the cricket club and community centre in her home village of Northowram, near Halifax.

And with about two fifths of the £50,000 target achieved, it is hoped to equip many junior and community clubs by the end of the year.

Mrs Jones, a mother of young twins, said she was proud to be awarded the Woman of the Year title.

“It is such an honour,” she added.

“The Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund is my way of saying a big thank-you to the wider rugby league family for all it has done for me and my children since we lost Danny.

“I want the fund to be a platform to help the wider sporting community too, so to receive this Woman of the Year recognition alongside so many impressive, inspirational women doing such great work for their families and communities is truly thrilling.”

Women of the Year awards were started more than 60 years ago to recognise inspirational females from all walks of life.

Attendees at lunches have ranged from Professor Mary Beard and Dame Ellen MacArthur to Lulu and Julie Walters.

This year’s event takes place at the InterContinental Hotel, Park Lane, on October 17.

Sandi Toksvig, president of Women of the Year, said: “I’m looking forward to welcoming all our guests and winners to the lunch and awards.

“I would love to show the room to every schoolgirl growing up in Britain today and tell them ‘you can be whatever you want to be – just look at these incredible women’,”

Professional singer Mrs Jones, who sang at last year’s Rugby League Challenge Cup final, will be presenting the trophy to the winning team at this year’s final between Hull FC and Warrington Wolves which is played at Wembley Stadium on Saturday, August 27.

To support Mrs Jones’s defibrillator fund, visit or