Jamie Jones-Buchanan is a very determined follower of Jesus, but don’t think he’s gone soft!
Rugby star Jamie Jones-Buchanan has picked up a crock of medals in a glittering Super League career spanning half a lifetime – but Jesus is clearly his greatest treasure. The second-rower with Leeds Rhinos, for whom he first played in 1999, is now in his 18th season with the Rugby League club, having played 371 games and scored 73 tries – winning six Grand Finals, three World Club Challenges, three League Leaders Shields and the Challenge Cup. The 35-year-old has overcome many setbacks in the process, which he says has refined his character and taught him what is most important in life. And in the meantime he has also taken up journalism and acting, and become a governor at his former school.
Although he has reached the pinnacle of sporting success, also representing England and Great Britain, his Christian faith has become the focus of his life, as he shared with an audience in a Doncaster church. And he has certainly not gone soft – he was under suspension with the Rugby Football League for a dangerous tackle even as he spoke! Everything changed for Jones-Buchanan one day in 2004 when New Zealand player and fellow second-rower Ali Lauitiiti invited him to church. “I knew there was something different about him, and he wasn’t shy about his faith. I did not have a Christian background (although I’d always believed in God) and thought everybody would be dressed in their Sunday best, but in fact they just shared a common love for Jesus.” Jones-Buchanan began reading Mark’s Gospel, undertook a Christianity Explored course and became a committed member of the City Evangelical Church where he was baptised in 2009. Now he says: “I want Jesus to be right at the centre of everything in my life. I even have ‘In Christ Jesus’ written in Aramaic (the language Jesus spoke) on my wedding ring.”
This article is from the June 2017 issue of iBelieve Magazine. Order your copy today…
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