Karen Jones

Everyone at Bolton Wanderers is devastated to hear of the passing of Karen Jones – mother of Wanderers’ defender Gethin Jones and his younger brother Dylan and sister Ela.

Karen was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease last July and fought – alongside her family – with remarkable courage to try and combat the effects of a condition which currently has no cure.

A much-loved former midwife, mother and wife of Gareth, Karen, 56, had been undergoing treatment and a drug trial in the United States as part of her battle against MND.

Wanderers were proud to host a special fund-raising fixture and dinner last November to help pay for some of the costs and care involved, with former Whites’ manager Sam Allardyce leading a team of club legends against Ian Evatt’s current line-up.

Club chairman Sharon Brittan led Wanderers’ response to the Jones’ family appeal, which also contributed funds to the Darby Rimmer Foundation – jointly set up by former Wanderers’ player Stephen Darby – which helps finance research into MND.

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Sharon said: “I was deeply saddened to learn that Karen passed away on Sunday. 

“Whilst I only knew her for a short time, she touched my soul and was clearly the heartbeat of her beautiful family.

“Karen was a wonderful mother to her amazing children whom she adored, loving wife and loyal friend to all who knew her.

“Our heartfelt sympathies go to Gareth, Gethin, Dylan, Ela and all the family.  May God look after her and she rest in eternal peace.”

Gethin launched and helped coordinate the fund-raising effort and front the appeal to support Karen as a magnificent ambassador both for his family, which lives in North Wales, and Bolton Wanderers Football Club.

Since Karen’s diagnosis Gethin – who has been at Wanderers since August, 2020 ­–continued to play as a key member of Evatt’s team.

The 26-year-old was recently made vice-captain and his return from injury in January was a key factor in Wanderers’ recent revival which has taken them to the fringe of the League One play-off places.

Wanderers’ manager Evatt said: “Our thoughts are with Gethin and his family at this desperately sad time.

“Spending time with Karen last year, her bravery and courage stood out as an example to us all.

“All of her family are a credit to her and in Gethin, we are lucky to have such a fantastic person and player representing our football club.

“Myself, staff and his team-mates will continue to give him our total support as such a respected and valued member of the squad.”

The thoughts of everyone at Bolton Wanderers are with Gareth, Gethin, Dylan and Ela as we remember Karen.

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