“IF I only raise enough money for one defibrillator for one non-league club, it is one more which could save lives.”
Those are the words of Bromsgrove Sporting manager Paul Smith who is hoping to raise £1,600 to buy defibrillators for teams across the country without the life-saving equipment.
Mr Smith has set up a Just Giving page to gather the essential funds after hearing how a defib had been used to save the life a passionate Alvechurch fan who had suffered a cardiac arrest whilst watching his beloved club’s league game against Gresley on Saturday.
While paramedics, an ambulance crew and air ambulance headed to the Lye Meadow ground, the defib was used to keep Rick Edwards’ heart beating as he went in and out of consciousness.
Mr Edwards was then taken to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and is well on the road to recovery.
“While I was reading about Rick, I had a notification on my phone which said Liverpool had spent £75million on a new defender,” Mr Smith told the Standard.
“I could not catch my breath because that kind of money could give every non-league club a defib.
“So on the back of that and what had happened to Rick I thought why not raise some money to give clubs without a defib the life-saving equipment.
“Hopefully the money raised can fund for four defibs but at the worst case scenario I will dig into my own pocket to cover the shortfall.”
So far Mr Smith has raised £975, including a £250 donation from professional footballer Tyrone Mings, and has stressed any club across the country can enter the random draw for the defibs and not those just in Worcestershire.
Any clubs wishing to enter the draw should email Mr Smith directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone wanting to donate can do so by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/paul-smith-655.