FOOTBALL teams can now call on life-saving equipment should players suffer a potentially deadly heart attack.
The semi-professional Wearside League, whose sides compete on Saturday afternoons, has teamed up with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) and the FA to become one of the few leagues in England to have 100 per cent coverage of Automated External Defibrillator (AED).
Representatives from all of the league’s clubs attended Primrose Community Centre in Jarrow, South Tyneside, to see FA regional medical co-ordinator for the North East and Yorkshire, David Alderson, demonstrate the AED and assist the clubs to assemble the kit so they were ready to be used should they ever need to.
League chairman Peter Maguire told the meeting it was a major investment for the league to supply one AED to each club so that they can help save lives.
“I hope we never have to use them, but they are money well spent,” said Mr Maguire.
Since Bolton Wanderers footballer Fabrice Muamba suffered cardiac arrest on the pitch during a game in 2012, the BHF has teamed up with The Football Association to help save lives in England’s football clubs and their communities.
Former Arsenal midfielder Muamba collapsed during an FA Cup tie at Tottenham Hotspur while playing for Bolton.
His heart is believed to have stopped for more than 75 minutes before he was resuscitated by doctors.
Following medical advice he retired from the professional game months later is now studying towards a degree in sports journalism and also working as a football commentator.
More than 900 external defibrillators (AED) will be made available to clubs at Steps 1 to 7 of the National League System and clubs in the Women’s Super League to help save the lives of cardiac arrest casualties.