hunslet hawks coach Barry Eaton has been left “heartbroken” by the death of his friend and former player Danny Jones.
Jones, 29, collapsed after being substituted early in Keighley Cougars’ Kingstone Press League One fixture at London Skolars two days ago.
He was taken by ambulance to the Royal Free Hospital and pronounced dead soon afterwards. The game was abandoned. A Welsh international, Jones had two spells at both Halifax and Keighley.
Eaton coached Cougars before joining Hunslet and has also been part of the Wales backroom staff.
He said: “I am devastated. My wife and I went to his wedding and his twins’ christening a few weeks ago.
“We were pretty close friends, it is heartbreaking.”
Eaton signed Jones for Keighley and revealed he had been keen to take him to Hunslet.
He added: “I came very close in the off-season, but he’s made some fantastic friends at Keighley and his loyalty was with them. It’s horrible news and just so sad.”
The Rugby League Benevolent Fund has begun fundraising to support Jones’ family, including his widow Liz and five-month-old twins.
Donations can be made by logging on to https://www.justgiving.com/dannyjones29