100 Months of Welsh Rugby League

Date: 3/7/18

Pre-orders are required for a special one-off charity magazine chronicling the ups and downs of rugby league in Wales over the last decade, which is to be published on May 3rd 2019.

Wales Rugby League’s communications and profile manager Ian Golden is to publish “100 months of Rugby League in Wales” to raise money for two worthy causes – “The Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund” and “Scott’s Angels”.

The “The Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund” raises money to purchase defibrillators for community rugby league clubs and junior teams across the country. These defibrillators cost around £1,000 each and provide potentially life-saving treatment to anyone suffering a cardiac arrest.

During a League One match on May 3rd 2015, Keighley Cougars’ Welsh international Danny Jones was substituted in the fourth minute of the game after reporting feeling unwell. Soon after he went into cardiac arrest. A post-mortem revealed that the cardiac arrest was caused by a previous undetected, hereditary, heart disease.

“Scott’s Angels” was created to raise money for the family of former rugby league player Scott Bessant, who turned out and coached for Newport Titans and Torfaen Tigers as well as winning caps for Wales Dragonhearts.

In the early hours of August 13th 2017, Scott was found unconscious. It was later diagnosed that he had multiple fractures to his skull, a fractured neck, broken ribs, a fractured pelvis, and since then he has had multiple strokes. No witnesses have come forward to any attack and the police have found nothing.

Scott, 35, a father of two, is alive but is in a vegetative state. His family and friends continue to fundraise to give him some quality of life.

“100 months of Rugby League in Wales” will be a bumper 136+ page magazine reprinting Ian Golden’s monthly columns from Rugby League World and Forty20 magazines printed over 100 months between January 2011 and April 2019.

During that time, there have been major achievements for the Wales men’s side in the European Cup, the Wales Wheelchair side in both the World Cup and Celtic Cup, and Wales Students in the Home Nations and World Cup. Wales have won bronze in the Commonwealth Championships and the Wales under 16s have beaten England.

In addition, domestic teams like North Wales Crusaders, South Wales Scorpions, Valley Cougars, Torfaen Tigers, West Wales Raiders and Bridgend Blue Bulls and others have flown the flag for Wales with some taking home national trophies. There have also been achievements from schools like Glantaf, Ystalyfera and St Joseph’s.

In addition to the 100 columns that tell the stories of the ups and downs of rugby league in Wales, articles and Rugby League World Cup reports from other top writers are also included.

Matt Anniss opens the magazine telling the story of the state of the Welsh game in early 2010 and also chronicles the history of rugby league in Wales, and there are other contributions from Luke Ambler, Phil Caplan, Sian Golden, Ryan Gould, Dave Hadfield, Mark Andrew Jones and Steve Mascord.

Golden wrote for Rugby League World until April 2015 before his column was transferred to Forty20 following a restructure of the former. Both magazines now feature monthly columns on rugby league in Wales with “Tan-y-Ddraig” (translates as “The Dragon’s Fire”) appearing in Forty20 and “Breathing Fire”, which was relaunched in Rugby League World in April 2017 by Ryan Gould.

Danny Jones’ widow, Lizzie Jones, who, along with the Rugby Football League Benevolent Fund, created “The Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund”, said: “The legacy that Danny has left is priceless. The lives that the fund has saved and changed so far is more than I could have ever imagined. Initially I set out to save just one family from going through what we went through. This has happened as well as lots more. The support I have received for the charity has been overwhelming and it continues to grow every day. Thank you.”

Scott Bessant’s sister, Sian Chere, who along with her husband Neil, created “Scott’s Angels”, said: “Thank you to Ian for doing this. There’s a long long uncertain road for our Scotty B but we will do everything we can to give him some quality of life. He deserves it with all this fight he’s been giving so far. Thank you for all the support, we are truly overwhelmed.”

The magazine’s printing will be funded by pre-orders and advertisements so it’s essential to order in advance. All pre-orders before going to print will be recognised by being named in the magazine. The aim is for it to be published on the fourth anniversary of Danny Jones’ death.

Costing just only £10 plus postage and packing, it can be ordered at www.walesrugbyleague.co.uk/magazine.

Anyone wishing to advertise in the magazine, costing at just £200 for a full page and £100 for a half page, can email ian.golden@walesrugbyleague.co.uk.