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Football Reporting

EURO 2020

Raheem Sterling & Steven Gerrard beg Boris Johnson to have defibrillators in ALL schools after Eriksen cardiac arrest

BORIS Johnson is being urged by Premier League stars to make defibrillators compulsory at schools and sports clubs.

Liverpool captain Jordan Henderson and Manchester City’s Rahheem Sterling are among the top footballers backing calls for a new law.

Danish footballer Christian Eriksen collapsed at the Euros


Danish footballer Christian Eriksen collapsed at the EurosCredit: EPA
Campaigners want mandatory defibrillators in all schools and sports clubs


Campaigners want mandatory defibrillators in all schools and sports clubsCredit: Alamy

Anfield legends Sir Kenny Dalglish and Steven Gerrard, who is now manager of Scottish club Rangers, have joined the clamour.

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It comes after Denmark star Christian Eriksen collapsed during a game at this summer’s Euros tournament.

The ex Tottenham midfielder’s life was only saved by the quick intervention of medical staff on the pitch.

A number of top players and coaches have now signed a letter to the PM urging him to roll out defibrillators at grassroots level.

It has been organised by Dr Zafar Iqbal, who is the head of sports medicine at Premier League side Crystal Palace.

Fabrice Muamba, who was saved by a defibrillator when he had a cardiac arrest in 2012 while playing for Bolton, has also backed the campaign.

Man City full-back Kyle Walker, Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers, and new Palace boss Patrick Viera are among them.

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England cricketer Moeen Ali has also thrown his weight behind the cause.

‘Devastating consequences’

The letter states: “The importance of prompt use of an Automated External defibrillator was clearly highlighted when Christian Eriksen of Denmark, collapsed on the field before half-time in a Euro 2020 game vs Finland.

“The rapid recognition and use of both CPR and an AED to restart his heart was critical to Christian surviving.

“Is a timely reminder of what success can be achieved when the appropriate equipment is immediately available for use in a cardiac arrest scenario.

“This also brought back memories of another professional footballer, Fabrice Muamba, who had a cardiac arrest before being successfully resuscitated on the pitch at White Hart Lane, London in 2012.

“What happened to Christian and Fabrice were both medical successes and great examples of what can be achieved when appropriate equipment is on hand promptly.

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“However, when access to this equipment is not readily available, the consequences are devastating.”

60,000 deaths a year

There is currently no law requiring schools or sports clubs to have a defibrillator available.

More than 600 young people die from sudden cardiac arrests every year, with almost half of those deaths take place in schools.

And there are an estimated 60,000 cases annually across the whole of the UK population.

Research shows survival rates drop between seven to 10 per cent every minute without patients are without defibrillation.

Campaigners from the Oliver King Foundation have been campaigning for a new law for a decade.

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Oliver, 12, from Liverpool, died of a cardiac arrest during a swimming race in 2011.

In 2017 the foundation launched a petition which attracted more than 110,000 signatures, sparking a debate in the Commons.

But ministers ultimately decided not to introduce the new law.

Now a proposed Automated External Defibrillators (Public Access) Bill is set to come before Parliament next month.

It has been put forward by Northern Irish MP Jim Shannon and enjoys cross-party backing.

Campaigners are urging the PM to throw his weight behind the bill ahead of its second reading on September 10.

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It would introduce a new law making provision of defibrillators mandatory at schools and sports clubs across the country.

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