A Shrewsbury-based football team – whose players are all aged 55 plus – is to purchase a life-saving piece of equipment thanks to a generous donation from a local painting firm.
Andy Watkins, of Watkins Contractors, gifted the Shrewsbury Walking Football Club £1000 at a recent presentation held at the Mercure Shrewsbury Albrighton Hall Hotel and Spa.
The funds will now be used to purchase a defibrillator for the club which will be kept pitch-side during football matches.
Graham Irish, committee member for the club, said: “Last year one of our players Allan Lamsdale collapsed whilst playing and subsequently died.
“Although his death was not related to respiratory and pulmonary problems we realise that due to the nature of the club – 40 men aged between 55 and 80 all playing – this kind of incident is going to happen again at some point.
“Through one of our other players, Ray Jex, Andy Watkins came to hear of the club and Allan’s death and subsequently offered us £1000 to purchase a defibrillator.
“We are hugely grateful to Andy for his support and the piece of equipment will be kept at the side of the pitch during games should there ever be another emergency situation.”
Mr Watkins, whose company was recently awarded two contracts to redecorate the historic Albrighton Hall Hotel, said: “It is a real pleasure to support the Shrewsbury Walking Football Club with this donation.
“I am delighted they will be using the money to purchase such a vital piece of equipment.
“Key members of the club will undergo training in how to use it so should another incident ever occur, life-saving treatment can begin straight away.
“Those vital minutes and seconds during a cardiac arrest can make all the difference to saving a life.”
Jennifer Sibbald-Wall, hotel general manager, said she was delighted to welcome Mr Watkins and the football team to the hotel for the presentation on Friday, February 12.
She said: “Shrewsbury is such a vibrant town with so many clubs and groups and this is a really wonderful example of how local businesses are supporting their local community.”