Wales international Danny Jones has died after suffering a suspected heart attack during a third-tier English match, the governing Rugby Football League has announced.
Jones, 29, playing for Keighley away to London Skolars, was stretchered off the field after collapsing in just the fourth minute of the match at New River Stadium in north London.
He was treated by the match doctor and paramedics before being taken to the Royal Free Hospital in Hampstead, north London, where, despite what the RFL said were “extensive efforts”, staff couldn’t resuscitate him.
“It is always devastating when someone so young dies in these circumstances,” said RFL chief operating officer Ralph Rimmer in a statement.
“Danny was a popular and talented Rugby League player, having played at the highest level with the Wales national team and playing over 12 seasons for Keighley Cougars and Halifax.”
Rimmer added: “The Rugby League community will mourn his loss and I wish to extend our deepest sympathies to Danny’s family and friends at this incredibly sad time.
“We would ask that the privacy of the Jones family, players and Keighley Cougars staff be respected.”
Earlier, a London Ambulance statement said: “We sent a number of resources including London’s Air Ambulance and two ambulance crews to the scene.
“The patient – a man – was in cardiac arrest.”
Jones joined Keighley in 2010 after previously playing for Halifax and was a member of the Wales side that played a 2013 World Cup pool match against the Cook Islands.
Sunday’s match was subsequently abandoned after 16 minutes with Keighley leading 12-6.