Gala Fairydean Rovers players can now play safer, thanks to the purchase of vital lifesaving equipment by the club with the help of a local charity.
Working in partnership with Scottish HART, the club are now in possession of two defibrillator units, meaning that both the Netherdale club’s Lowland League and Border Amateur squads can carry the devices with them to all of their games.
Coaching staff and other officials at the club will receive training in the use of the devices and further instruction in Cardiopulmonary Resuscitation (CPR).
Steven Noble, manager of Gala Fairydean Rovers Lowland League side said: “The fact that there have already been two instances of people suffering a heart attack at Lowland League clubs this season focused our minds on the need to buy these devices to travel with both our teams at all times.
“We are grateful to Wilma Gunn and Scottish HART for helping us to get this vital equipment.”
The club were determined to ensure the devices were purchased following a number of high-profile incidents, including the collapse of Fabrice Muamba with a cardiac arrest during the FA Cup tie played at Tottenham Hotspurs’ White Hart Lane Ground in 2012. Horrified supporters in the stadium and millions watching live on television saw medical staff battle to revive the 23-year-old Bolton Wanderers player. Muamba’s heart stopped beating for two hours, but he survived thanks to the use of a mobile portable device on the pitch.
Others have not been so lucky, however.
The Scottish HART charity was formed by Wilma Gunn following the death of her son Cameron who collapsed after playing five -a-sides with his workmates on the eve of his 20th birthday.
The Cameron Gunn Memorial football tournament for young people takes place each summer in Galashiels and has become the biggest event of its kind in Scotland.
Mrs Gunn is due to receive an MBE for her services to charity later this year.