Shropshire Star

'Forever our Number 3': Tributes paid to 'incredible' friend, wife, mum, footballer after cancer battle

Tributes have been paid to an "incredible" friend, mother and footballer who has died following a battle with breast cancer.

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Danielle Jones at Shifnal Town FC earlier this year

Married mum-of-one Danielle Jones, from Madeley, was diagnosed with incurable triple negative breast cancer aged just 29.

Her teammates at Shifnal Town Ladies were quick to show their support and after the announcement earlier this year they vowed to raise as much money as they could to send Danielle, her husband Owen and their two-year-old son Harry to Disneyland to make precious memories.

Danielle Jones with son Harry

Today the team made the heartbreaking announcement that Danielle, "forever their number 3", had died in the early hours of Sunday.

Natalie Trevor, team secretary of Shifnal Town Ladies, said: "It's hard to put words together and it's hard to say, but everything about her, she always thought about everyone else first.

"She was the last one out the changing rooms and the first one here, she thought about everyone. She was a truly amazing person.

"I was with her last night and held her hand and I'm so glad I went - I was talking about Dani and everything and she looked so peaceful, and it meant so much that she was comfortable."

In a post on Facebook, Shifnal Town Ladies said: "Unfortunately we have the devastating news that none of us wanted.

"Our beautiful and strong lady Dan has sadly passed away.

"We thank everyone for all their support throughout everything for Dan and right now we are all hurting so bad to lose someone so special and close to us all.

"Forever our Number 3."

Fundraising efforts took place across Shropshire and beyond in honour of Danielle, reaching as far as the tiny Caribbean island of Anguilla where football team Uprising FC is based.

In March, 'Danielle's Day' was held at Madeley Cricket Club, organised by Abbie Bailey-Smith, Lindsey Handy, and Amber Davies. The day included a host of entertainment and raised more than £5,000.

Amber Davies (organiser), Danielle Jones, Lynsey Handy (organiser) and Abbie Bailey-Smith (organiser) pictured at the Danielle's Day fundraiser in March

On March 26, another fundraising day was held at Shifnal Town FC's home ground and was in the style of a spring fete, with stalls, bouncy castles, refreshments and music.

A crowdfunder was also set up to raise money for Cancer Research UK, which has so far raised an incredible £1,350.00.

On April 12, Danielle celebrated her 30th birthday and in May she took her little boy and her husband to Disneyland alongside Shifnal Ladies' team captain and her best friend, where they had a wonderful time.

Paying tribute, teammate Becky Williams said: "She was the heart of the team, she did so much, she kept us all together.

"She was always making sure we were all okay, even to the point where she had a 'Mary Poppins bag' which had everything in, in case we needed anything when we were playing or when we weren't playing.

"She was so caring and such a strong person and she was so incredible. If anyone's family members were poorly she would do even the smallest thing."

Wolves Women FC were among those paying tribute to Danielle, saying: "We are deeply saddened by the passing of Danielle Jones.

"Our thoughts and condolences are with everyone connected to Shifnal Ladies and Danielle's friends and family.

"Rest in peace, Danielle. Your courage and strength is an inspiration to us all."