Clapton CFC members have voted to buy a mobile defibrillator out of club funds to take to away games.
At our temporary home, the Stray Dog, we have access to a defibrillator as well as accredited CPR and defibrillator-trained volunteers among us.
If a player – or supporter – at the Stray Dog or adjoining pitches faces a life-threatening cardiac emergency, they can receive immediate help.
The same is not true at away games, with the majority of venues at this level of non-league football having no defibrillator on site, nor any emergency plan in place.
As a responsible club, we want to keep our players and supporters safe, both home and away.
Members have now voted to spend up to £1,000 for an automated external defibrillator. 459 of our 1300-plus members took part, with a 97% vote in favour.
We will now purchase the HeartSine Samaritan PAD SAM 360P AED and take it to all away games.
It is usable by anyone without any need for specialist training, the machine will talk you through it step by step.
However, you can also watch this YouTube video.
Several non-league footballers have died of cardiac arrests in recent years, including Junior Dian of Tonbridge Angels and Daniel Wilkinson of Shaw Lane, where no defibrillator was available.
The issue is particularly close to many Tons fans’ hearts after a terrifying incident involving Bradley Joseph, playing for Clapton FC at Sporting Bengal United in Mile End in 2016
Right-back Joseph collapsed during the game. There was no defibrillator available. But he was one of the lucky ones – an ambulance quickly arrived, drove on to the pitch and medics saved his life.
As he recovered, he told the Evening Standard he wanted “clubs of all levels to… ensure they have a pitch-side defibrillator.
We’re happy to now be able to do so.