Last week, our main man Michael Carrick visited Wallsend Boys Club, as a potential life-saving defibrillator device was permanently fitted at the Kirkley Park full-size 3G pitch.
Whilst playing for Manchester United in 2017, Carrick underwent a procedure to correct an irregular heart rhythm and he spoke of his support for the Premier League Defibrillator Fund which is making more than 2,000 AEDs available to grassroots football clubs and facilities in England and Wales.
He said: “It’s a no-brainer for clubs to apply for defibrillators provided by the Premier League. It is a great initiative.
“Hopefully the cabinet stays shut and doesn’t ever need to be opened, but it is reassuring to know it is there in case of emergencies and if it can save one life, then it really is making a difference.”
The Foundation have been supporting Wallsend for the past four years by funding a General Manager position. This role has helped increase the Club’s community engagement and has played a vital part in fundraising for the development of the site.
Today, Wallsend Boys Club plays host to 45 representative teams with players ranging from four to 84-years-old from the local community.
Joined by his brother Graeme and father Vince and more than 20 male and female walking footballers, Carrick participated in a walking football match at the facility.
The participants also took part in a CPR workshop led by Newcastle United Club Doctor Paul Catterson, who added: “The sad fact is there are more than 30,000 people suffer cardiac arrests outside of hospitals each year and unfortunately, only one in ten of those is successfully revived. But ensuring access to training CPR and defibrillators can increase the rate of survival.
“These modern devices give simple instructions aloud to the user so if you can use a smartphone, you can use one. The defibrillator here is exactly the same as the one at St James’s Park and our training ground.”
Chairman Steve Dale went on to say: “Wallsend Boys Club plays a vital role in our community keeping people active and bringing them together. Having a fixed defibrillator on site means we can do that with increased safety.
“Our thanks to the Premier League and Michael Carrick Foundation for their continued support in helping us to provide access to football for thousands of local people.”
The Premier League Defibrillator Fund is still accepting applications from grassroots clubs and facilities to receive a defibrillator and cabinet.
For more information and to make an application, head to: premierleaguedefibs.org
Search ‘The FA - sudden cardiac arrest course’ for free online training in how to deliver CPR and use defibrillators.