How we worked together
Since footballer Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch in 2012, we've teamed up with The Football Association to help save lives in England’s football clubs and their communities.
In a unique partnership, more than 900 external defibrillators (AED) were 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.
Creating a team of lifesavers
The initiative aimed to create thousands of lifesavers by giving players, staff and fans the equipment and information needed to save a life, including hands-only CPR which was made famous for us by football legend Vinnie Jones.
The charity matched an initial donation of £400,000 from The FA towards the cost of the defibrillators, with the final £400,000 made up of contributions from clubs.
With two-thirds of the cost of a brand new lifesaving defibrillator being provided to clubs by The FA and BHF, eligible clubs applied to secure the equipment and then learn more about how it can save lives.
Awareness around sudden cardiac arrests was heightened when former England Under-21 star Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest in the Tottenham Hotspur versus Bolton Wanderers FA Cup tie on March 17 last year. Muamba’s story is even more remarkable as only around 1 in 10 people normally survive a witnessed, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK.
Muamba’s former England boss Stuart Pearce and members of the current England Under-21 squad were on hand to show off the new equipment.
Pearce said: “There is no doubt how valuable these pieces of equipment can be, and if they save just one life then the investment is worth it. The investment of £800,000 from The FA and BHF makes it much easier for clubs to get their hands on a piece of kit that ordinarily would be too expensive for them.
“I think we all remember the moment Fabrice collapsed on the pitch at White Hart Lane and how that stunned the football world into thinking about these issues. It’s important that football clubs take the opportunity to make sure we see more stories of survival in the future.”
Please note applications for defibrillators have now closed.
If you have any queries, please email TheFA@bhf.org.uk.