Players and supporters at Bradford Town Football Club now have the benefit of its first defibrillator, installed a year after Trowbridge teenager Quinton Barham collapsed during a match.
Quinton, 14, had just scored a hat trick for Bradford Town Youth Football Club in an away match against Bromham when he suffered a cardiac arrest. His heart had to be restarted with CPR by coaches and a defibrillator used by paramedics.
He returned to football several months later and his club, based in Ashley Lane, Winsley, soon bought three defibrillators – one for home matches and two to take to away matches and training at St Laurence School and Victory Field.
The club also trains its under-16s at Bradford Town Football Club in Trowbridge Road, which until now did not have a defibrillator.
Defibrillators are becoming more available at clubs since the Football Associa- tion teamed up with the British Heart Foundation making 900 of the life-saving devices available to clubs across the country.
Nikki Akers, secretary of Bradford Town Football Club in Trowbridge Road, said that after receiving an email from the league they had taken the opportunity to buy one. The Football Association paid for one third and British Heart Foundation another third.
She said: “The scheme came to light when Fabrice Muamba (a former Bolton footballer) collapsed on the pitch, but the focus increased locally with Quinton.
“The case with Quinton shows things can happen on the pitch.
“We did a lot of fundraising and got help from people around the town.”
The club raised £318 through a series of raffles at home games and local businesses in the town donated prizes.
Miss Akers said: “A defib-rillator is very important. It’s not just for the players, it’s potentially also for the supporters. You never know who will benefit.
“I would advise other large sports clubs to purchase one. It is worth it.”