A football club has responded to the collapse of a referee during a local cup final to take delivery of a life-saving defibrillator.
Holwell Sports FC is training up members to use the equipment, which will also be available to use for bowlers and tennis players who compete at neighbouring clubs on the site at Welby Road on Asfordby Hill.
Officials decided to act after hearing about an incident involving Brian Gordon, who suffered a cardiac arrest while refereeing the Melton Sunday League Knockout Cup final at Asfordby FC back in May.
One of the players came to his aid to give CPR before a paradmedic with the East Midlands Immediate Care Scheme (EMICS) arrived to treat the stricken official with the aid of a defibrillator. He is now recuperating and hoping to return to the field at some stage.
Martin Rooney, deputy chairman at Holwell Sports FC, said: “When we heard about Mr Gordon’s situation the committee made it a priority to obtain a defibrillator as it was recognised that many of the supporters attending Holwell matches may fit into the demograph of those who might just benefit from the use of one at some stage.
“As the facility at Holwell also covers a bowls and tennis section, as well as two active football pitches at weekends, we thought it would also be good for the community if one was placed at the ground on Welby Road.”
The club applied for, and received, a grant towards the cost of a defibrillator through a scheme involving the Football Association (FA) and The British Heart Foundation.
Since Premier League footballer Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch in 2012, the FA and the charity have teamed up to help save lives at England’s football clubs and within their communities.
Melton business Foxwise Accountancy, who are based on Burton Street, provided additional sponsorship for the device - an Intelligent Public Access Defibrillator.
Funding is being sought for a weather-proof outdoor secure wall cabinet for the equipment, which will then be installed at the club and registered with the East Midlands Ambulance Service.
Two or three members at the club will be trained to use it and Mr Rooney added: “I would hope other clubs reacted like we did when we heard the story about Brian Gordon.
“We didn’t want something like that happening during one of our matches and this will make it much safer for players and spectators at matches.”