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Eriksen: Grassroots defibrillators are so important

18 May 2022

Brentford playmaker unveils Premier League Defibrillator Fund installation at Bedfont Sports Club

Last summer, the life-saving role of defibrillators was brought into sharp focus when Christian Eriksen collapsed after a cardiac arrest during Denmark's UEFA Euro 2020 fixture with Finland.

And the Brentford playmaker was pleased to mark the installation of the latest defibrillator made possible by the Premier League Defibrillator Fund at Bedfont Sports Club.

"From a negative it's hopefully turning into something positive, that will save other lives also," Eriksen said.

"It's something that saved my life. And if it wasn't there, I wouldn't be here today.

"So, obviously, something that is very important to have. Hopefully, they won't use it but at least most of the people need to know how to use it, if they do need it."

Life-saving equipment

The PL Defibrillator Fund was launched last year and will provide Automated External Defibrillators (AEDs) to more than 2,000 grassroots clubs and facilities over the next few years, with the aim of helping save the life of someone experiencing a sudden cardiac arrest.

"The sad fact is that every season, 30,000 people suffer cardiac arrest outside of hospital and only one in 10 of those survive," said Nick Perchard, the Premier League's Head of Community.

"The reason we set up the Defibrillator Fund was so that anyone who suffers a cardiac arrest, whether that's a player on the pitch, whether it's a spectator or just someone walking their dog, has access to that emergency life-saving support."

How clubs can apply

Grassroots clubs who own their facilities and want to apply for a defibrillator should head to the Football Foundation website and use this form to check their eligibility for an AED.

If eligible, clubs can place their order.

While defibrillators are designed to be simple to use, each grant recipient will be required to have at least one person successfully complete The FA Education’s free online Sudden Cardiac Arrest course. 

The Premier League is working with partners at The FA and Sport England to ensure facility developments funded by the Football Foundation incorporate this equipment in the future.

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