Lizzie Jones, widow of former Halifax rugby player Danny, has been shortlisted for a St John Ambulance award for her campaign to put defibrillators into rugby league clubs throughout the country.
The mother of young twins, from Halifax, has worked tirelessly to raise money for the life-saving devices, also known as AEDs, since the sudden death of her husband from an undiagnosed heart condition on the pitch last year.
Lizzie is one of five national finalists named in the first aid charity’s Everyday Heroes awards First Aid Champion category.
Her Danny Jones Defibrillators Fund, run in association with the RFL Benevolent Fund, has already raised enough for more than 30 clubs to receive AEDs, which are used to restart the heart.
With £20,000 of the £50,000 target so far collected, she expects to equip hundreds of junior and community clubs by the end of the year.
Lizzie has personally presented machines to West Yorkshire rugby clubs, the Featherstone Lions, Birkenshaw Bluedogs and Ashton Bears, as well as to the cricket club and community centre in her home village, Northowram.
Professional singer Lizzie said the nomination helped to honour her husband, who also played Wales international halfback: “I am an everyday girl, an everyday mum and an everyday friend.
“For me to be able to help save others through my beautiful man’s memory is so very precious to me.
“Danny was so special and already hasn’t died in vain.
“Thank you for this wonderful nomination and thank you for helping and allowing me to do the work I’m doing everyday.”
This year’s St John Ambulance Everyday Heroes Awards will be presented at a London ceremony on September 7, by musician Myleene Klass, who saved her daughter from choking.
Simon Dunn, regional director for St John Ambulance North, said: “Everyday Heroes is the very essence of what St John Ambulance is about – ordinary people doing extraordinary things through first aid.
“We believe that no one should suffer for a lack of first aid, and the actions of our finalists prove that first aid really can be the difference between life and death.”
There are nine categories including everyday hero of the year, hero parent of the year, first aid champion, community hero, Guy Evans young hero of the year (age 10-17), top of the class (for schools), organisation of the year, workplace hero and St John Ambulance volunteer of the year.