Alexandra Hospital scores first aid for football club

The Alex hospital gave funds to local junior football club

A junior football club has received £1,200 from the privately owned BMI Alexandra Hospital in Cheadle to buy life-saving equipment.

Richmond Rovers Junior Football Club has used the cash to buy a defibrillator, which has been installed at the Norbury playing fields in Hazel Grove, Stockport, where the home games are staged as well as training sessions and soccer schools for youngsters.

A defibrillator is a portable electronic device that monitors heart rhythms and delivers a shock when prompted to treat people who have suffered a cardiac arrest.

It is a vital piece of life-saving equipment in re-establishing an effective heart rhythm.

Richmond Rovers have more than 450 players across over 30 teams, from under-5s to veterans.

Chris Grossmith, manager of the under-15s girls’ team, said: “We really cannot thank BMI enough for donating the money for a new defibrillator. It’s a wonderful gesture.

“It’s an essential device which could save lives, although we hope we will never have to use it.

“As a token of our appreciation, one of our teams will next season have the Alex’s logo on their kit.”

The club is under the auspices of the Cheshire Football Association, which is promoting a charity called Ciaran’s Cause.

The charity was founded by the mother of Ciaran Latham-Geddes, who suffered a suspected cardiac arrest and died at the age of seven while playing football with his friends in Warrington in 2012.

Had a defibrillator been on hand, he would have stood a greater chance of surviving.

Ciaran’s Cause raises money to supply defibrillators and awareness training to schools and sport clubs. All primary and junior schools in Warrington have them, and the charity has partnered with the Cheshire FA to provide equipment for every club in its area.

Richmond Rovers received one for the club’s ground at Vernon Primary School in Poynton, and then decided to raise money for defibrillators at its other venues. Managers, their assistants and volunteer helpers at the club have been trained to use them.

Simon Shepherd, executive director at The Alex, said: “We have been working with our local community since the hospital opened 35 years ago, and we are delighted to be associated with such a worthy cause.

“We greatly value our association with Richmond Rovers and wish them a very successful finish to their season.”

Pictured: Simon Shepherd, far right, executive director of the Alexandra Hospital, presenting the cheque to girls in the under-15s team and, far left, manager Chris Grossmith and assistant manager Gary Halliwell, rear centre.