A YOUTH football club in Christchurch has come together to raise funds for the purchase of a vital life-saving piece of equipment.

Volunteers involved with Burton Youth Football Club secured a defibrillator through an initiative set up by the Football Association.

The club were able to acquire the appliance thanks to a large financial contribution from the Burton and Winkton Community Care Group, alongside the FA’s subsidy provided through their scheme.

The defibrillator can be used to try to support someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest.

Andrew Barr, who was a coach of one of the youth teams before stepping up to take the role of chairman, said he had made the sourcing of a defibrillator his top priority upon taking up his position.

“The actual price of one is around £1,400 but the FA scheme is helping clubs and brings the cost down to £834.

“We have never had an issue or incident where we would have needed to use a defibrillator. However, it is one of those things you want to have just in case but never want to have to use.

“A lot of people find out about a heart problem or condition when it is too late. We have 150 kids playing at the club and when you consider other teams coming here for matches too this was the right thing to do.

“We feel lucky that nothing has happened before and now we have the equipment that could make such a massive difference if we need it.

“Everyone is thanking me but that it is irrelevant who arranged it. We spoke about it a couple of years ago. The main thing was to get it sorted and at the club.”

The subject of cardiac arrests and football came to the fore in 2012 after Bolton Wanderers midfielder Fabrice Muamba suffered a cardiac arrest and collapsed during the first half of an FA Cup quarter-final against Tottenham Hotspur.

Bolton’s club doctor later confirmed the footballer had received numerous defibrillator shocks both on the pitch and in the ambulance, but his heart had stopped for 78 minutes. Following more than a month in hospital, he was discharged but subsequently retired from football.