Gosport footballers to play their hearts out for community defibrillator

Aaron Haggard helped organise a charity match in Gosport earlier this year to raise money for the late AFC Dynamo coach, Ronnie Williamson. Picture: Ian Hargreaves
Aaron Haggard helped organise a charity match in Gosport earlier this year to raise money for the late AFC Dynamo coach, Ronnie Williamson. Picture: Ian Hargreaves

A CHARITY football match in Gosport will be raising money for a defibrillator that could benefit thousands of people.

Gosport Borough Youth Football Club will be holding a charity match at Privett Park on Saturday, December 1, with the goal of raising enough money to buy a community defibrillator.

The team, which usually plays on the football pitches by HMS Sultan, plays host to around 1,000 players and parents over the course of a weekend.

Football coach Aaron Haggard said: ‘It’s one of those things that we hope we would never actually need to use, but it’s so important to have one to hand in the community.

‘A community defibrillator costs just over £1,000, but anything we raise over that will go towards a second defibrillator, which will be installed at Privett Park itself.

‘It would be great to do something like that for them after the problems they’ve had recently with being broken into.’

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Aaron says that the the increasing national media coverage on cardiac issues during sports games has made the issue much more prominent.

He explained: ‘You hear a lot of stories these days, from professionals to children, who can be affected by cardiac problems while out on the pitch.

‘It’s moments like that where a defibrillator is crucial for saving their life – so it’s a situation where we would rather take that precaution than take action once something has happened.’

Kick-off for the charity match, being called the Haines Memorial Cup will be at 3pm, with gates opening at Privett Park an hour before the game.

Entry will be £2, with the players also making a donation.

Aaron added: ‘We’re hoping to get a few businesses involved with the project, if we can.

‘We just want to make as much money as we can to do something that will one day save a life.’

To stay updated with the event, search for the hashtag #HeartAttacksInEverySport on social media.

Any local business that would like to sponsor the event or advertise in the programme can contact Steve King by emailling steve83king@gmail.com.