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Lizzie Jones awarded the MBE

Lizzie Jones has been awarded the MBE in the Queen’s 2020 New Year honours.

She said she was “overwhelmed and privileged” to accept the MBE on behalf of the whole Rugby League family which had totally embraced the work to create and build the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund.

Lizzie has been recognised for services to Rugby League and to charity after founding and driving the Defibrillator Fund following the loss of her husband, Danny, in May, 2015.

He died from an undiagnosed heart defect while playing for Keighley Cougars against London Skolars.

The Welsh international’s sudden death prompted Lizzie to launch a campaign in association with the RL Benevolent Fund to raise funds to help amateur Rugby League clubs purchase cardiac defibrillators.

Over the last four years, the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund has raised almost £200,000 and purchased potentially life-saving equipment that is safeguarding the health of more than 40,000 Rugby League players and officials, as well as countless fans.

The fund has also helped to pay for cardiac screening for junior and adult Rugby League players, and in recent months has been helping other sports, including cricket, to generate the funds they need to install defibrillators at local clubs.

Lizzie Jones MBE said:

“The fund continues to save lives and raise awareness of cardiac health, and Danny would have been immensely proud of what we have achieved.

“I have met amazing people and heard incredible stories through my involvement with the fund and in my role as an ambassador for the RL Benevolent Fund, and this honour is as much for them as it is for me.”

Tim Adams MBE, chairman of the Benevolent Fund, said:

“We would like to congratulate Lizzie on becoming an MBE which recognises the special part she continues to play in the sport.

“From the tragedy surrounding the loss of Danny, Lizzie has shaped a sporting success story that is impacting on the lives of thousands of people.

“Her energy and passion for cardiac health has meant that many families have not had to endure what she and her family went through. Lizzie’s MBE is richly deserved.”

Ralph Rimmer, chief executive of the RFL, said:

“Everyone in Rugby League is proud of Lizzie, and delighted she has received this national recognition.

“Lizzie is a charity pioneer and her work continues to change and save lives in our communities. She has been a generous ambassador for the RL Benevolent Fund and is also a champion for women’s Rugby League.

“She has supported charities and businesses in Yorkshire, which has been recognised by a number of regional and national awards both for her voluntary work, and her career as a professional singer. Huge congratulations to Lizzie from us all at the RFL, and a very Happy New Year.”

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AS you all know from your own experiences these are tough times for everybody, but we believe you will agree that OLDHAM RLFC is taking massive inspiration from the fabulous NHS and other key workers in tackling Covid head-on, while looking forward positively to the 2021 season and better times ahead thanks to the outstanding work now being done to get people vaccinated as quickly as possible.

Nevertheless, we have to face facts and be realistic enough to accept that the club urgently needs every pound that is currently coming in from whatever source. One of those sources is our Club Cash lottery and we would like to take this opportunity to thank all those who support us on this. A lot of you who used to pay our collectors on the doorstep have responded to our suggestions on how to pay by different methods and we are extremely grateful for that. Thanks again. You will never know how much difference your contributions make.

Alas, our income from the lottery has dropped by more than 50 per cent over the course of the pandemic and that would be a huge blow financially at any time let alone a time of unprecedented hardship because of the pandemic. It really is a situation we seriously need to address.

With that in mind the prize fund for the duration of the latest national lockdown will be temporarily reduced from February 10.

You will still be able to win a £1,000 first prize, plus £100, £50, £25 and ten £10 prizes every week, while continuing to provide vital support for the club and it will only cost you £1 a week. You can’t get a decent coffee for that, but the difference it makes to the club when multiplied a few times over and then multiplied again by 52 – the number of weeks in the financial year – is of major significance.

If you can help us at all — for £1 a week — it would be hugely appreciated by everyone with Oldham RL Club at heart. The prize structure still represents good value for money for an outlay of £1.

To those who are already members and help us accordingly, we very much hope to retain your support at this extremely difficult time.

Should you wish to play but don’t, due to the pausing of cash collection rounds, we have other options available, which you can discuss with our lottery administrator, John McAndrew on 07980129541 or from the club on 07904 898177.

Alternatively, you can send an email to: mcandrewj@aol.com or to: enquiries@roughyeds.co.uk

The prize fund will be increased back to previous levels as soon as latest lockdowns are released. Please watch our website and social media platforms for further announcements.

Finally, if you want more information about the lottery or you wish to discuss your membership please contact one of the numbers given above.

A huge thank-you to you all.

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