Matt King and Lizzie Jones team up for the Great North Run

Lizzie Jones after performing at the Champion Cup Final with her children

Lizzie Jones after performing at the Champion Cup Final with her children

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Matt King OBE and Lizzie Jones have been brought together after suffering tragedy to run the Great North Run.

Matt became paralysed from the neck down after suffering a severe injury just 20 seconds into his first ever London Broncos academy rugby league match against Halifax RLFC in 2004.

Matt just before he reached the finish line of his first Great North Run in 2006

Matt just before he reached the finish line of his first Great North Run in 2006

Two years later in 2006 he lead a team of runners in the Great North Run and became the the first person with his level of spinal injury to complete a half marathon.

He said: “The training and organisation for the Great North Run was incredibly hard, because of my care needs and the fact it had never been done before.

“When I crossed the finish line with the team, I felt like I could take on the world and win.”

Ten years on, Matt is ready to complete his third and final Great North Run and has recruited a team to join him.

Lizzie Jones, from Halifax, lost her husband Danny Jones last year after he suffered fatal cardiac arrest while playing for the Keighley Cougars.

A year on she has accomplished a lot from performing to the nation at the 2015 Challenge Cup Final to setting up the Danny Jones Defibrilator Fund, whose aim is to supply defibrilators to dozens of amateur rugby league clubs.

The power of social media helped Matt and Lizzie join forces as the organiser of his Great North Run team cheekily tweeted Lizzie to ask if she wanted to join.

Lizzie came back straight away with a yes and although she had never run any real distance before, she relished the challenge of getting fit to be part of the team.

Lizzie said: “It’s a privilege to be taking on this challenge with Matt and it’s going to be a very special and emotional day in the North East.”

The pair will be part of the BBC’s Great North Run coverage on September 11.

Coming full circle, Lizzie’s late husband Danny, an academy player for the then Halifax Blue Sox, lined up against Matt in the match that changed Matt’s life in 2004.

The team are raising money for rugby league cares and the Danny Jones Defibrilator fund and to donate visit www.justgiving.com.tenyeartreble