Trio awarded in New Years Honours

Rugby League trio Lizzie Jones, Richard Elam and Mike Nicholls will be awarded in the New Years Honours List.

Jones will be awarded an MBE for her work in rugby league and charity.

Her husband Danny was playing for Keighley Cougars in a match against London Skolars back in 2015 when he collapsed suddenly and died in hospital at the age of 29.  It was later announced  he had an undetected heart condition.

Since her husband’s death, she set up the fund to allow amateur rugby league clubs to purchase defibrillators.

Also nominated is former Warrington Wolves forward Nicholls. He will also receive an MBE for services to rugby league in Wales.

He has been president of the Wales Rugby League Association since 2003. The Welsh-born former forward was also instrumental in establishing the new Welsh competition. It includes Cardiff Blue Dragons, Bridgend Blue Bulls, Rhondda Outlaws and Torfaen Tigers.

He told the Warrington Guardian: “This is a really proud day for myself, my family and for the game of rugby league. I don’t do my work in rugby league for recognition, but it’s nice to be rewarded in this way nonetheless.

“It’s a reassurance to know sometimes that people think that I’m doing the right thing. I’m president of Wales Rugby League, but even if didn’t have an official position I’d still be promoting rugby league because of the passion I have for it.”

Finally, York City Knights sponsor Richard Elam will receive the British Empire Medal for his work with young people.

Elam founded Evora Construction in 2009, and has been recognised for his work with young people in care.

He told “It was a massive shock to receive the award – and I wouldn’t have received it without the many people who have helped with everything over the years, from business to fundraising to volunteering. It’s a real team effort.”

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