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SkyBet pledge £3m to British Heart Foundation.

Football legends join forces with Sky Bet and the British Heart Foundation to launch campaign to inspire the nation to learn lifesaving CPR

 

 ‘Every Minute Matters’ aims to recruit an incredible 270,000 people to learn lifesaving CPR over the next 12 months.

The campaign assembles one of the most inspiring teams of all time – the ‘Re-Starting 11’ featuring Graeme Souness, David Ginola, Glenn Hoddle, Tom Lockyer, Megan Tinsley and Fabrice Muamba – who will get the message out across the UK

Sky Bet pledges up to £3 million to support the vital work of the BHF during the year – starting with £10,000 donated for every goal during this month’s Sky Bet Play-Offs

 

LONDON, May 1: An inspiring line-up of footballers impacted by life-threatening heart conditions are joining forces with Sky Bet and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to urge more than a quarter of a million people to learn life-saving CPR.

Former international stars Graeme Souness, David Ginola and Glenn Hoddle took their places alongside Luton captain Tom Lockyer as Sky Bet and the British Heart Foundation unveiled a ground-breaking new campaign - ‘Every Minute Matters’ - at Wembley Stadium.

‘Every Minute Matters’ aims to recruit 270,000 people – the equivalent of three Wembley’s – to learn lifesaving CPR over the next 12 months.

And Sky Bet is pledging to donate up to £3 million to support the vital work of Britain’s biggest heart charity, starting with £10,000 for every goal scored during the Sky Bet Play-Offs – which begin this Friday and end with three showpiece finals at England’s national stadium later this month.

Souness, Ginola, Hoddle and Lockyer are part of the ‘Re-Starting 11’ – a one-off team including Fabrice Muamba, Derby County defender Megan Tinsley and Wigan striker Charlie Wyke - who will share their own stories and give Brits the skills to tackle the ultimate medical emergency.

The ‘Re-Starting 11’ also features football fans who have either survived a cardiac arrest or saved someone’s life.

Souness, who was diagnosed with coronary heart disease in his early 30s, said: “CPR saves lives – and you only have to look at our Re-Starting 11 to see that. It’s a privilege to join a team of inspiring people, many who are only here today thanks to CPR, as we stand with Sky Bet and the British Heart Foundation to call on the nation to take action.

“Every day, more than 80 people will suffer an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK – and that’s why we need more people to learn CPR through RevivR.

“Together we can equip thousands more fans with the knowledge and confidence to perform these lifesaving skills, because in the crucial moments following a cardiac arrest every minute really does matter.”

Lockyer, who collapsed during last year’s Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final and survived a cardiac arrest in December, added: “I was lucky that in the moment when my heart stopped, those nearby knew the skills to save my life.

“Without the prompt actions of medical staff who gave me CPR and defibrillation, I simply wouldn’t be here today – and I’m forever grateful for that.

“That’s why I’m joining the Re-Starting 11 as we call for more football fans to learn CPR. If every fan in every club took 15 minutes to learn CPR with RevivR, it could help save thousands of lives.”

There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year, equating to at least five every 90 minutes. Each minute that passes without CPR reduces the chance of survival by up to 10 per cent.

And tragically, less than one in ten people survive often because those around them lack the skills or confidence to perform CPR.

To kick-start the campaign to tackle the problem, Sky Bet and BHF will this month harness the platform and drama of the Sky Bet Play-Offs to unite football fans and the wider British public behind one clear goal – saving lives.

Every Minute Matters will urge everyone to take just 15 minutes – the length of the half-time interval – to learn CPR with RevivR, the BHF’s free and easy to use digital tool.

And the drive to raise £3 million for the BHF’s lifesaving work will begin, with Sky Bet donating £10,000 for every goal scored in the Sky Bet Play-Offs as four teams in the Sky Bet Championship, League One and League Two battle it out for the final promotion spot in their respective divisions.

The ‘Re-Starting 11’ will play a vital role throughout the Sky Bet Play-Offs by raising awareness, providing insight into their own experience and delivering hands on practical support to help the public learn CPR.

Although many of us will witness a cardiac arrest in our lifetime, the BHF estimates that around 23 million UK adults have never learnt the lifesaving skill of CPR. The BHF’s free, interactive online training course, RevivR, can teach anyone how to save a life in 15 minutes.

The simple course requires no medical experience and can be completed with just a mobile phone and a cushion to practice on. After completing the training, 97 per cent of users feel confident enough to give CPR and use a defibrillator.

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive at British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: “Millions have watched as players and fans have suffered devastating cardiac arrests in football stadiums – cardiac arrests really can happen to anyone, anywhere and at any time.

 

“Every Minute Matters will equip thousands of fans with lifesaving CPR skills, giving them the confidence to step in during the ultimate medical emergency. It will also improve access to defibrillators in communities across England, and fund millions of pounds of groundbreaking research into new treatments and cures for heart conditions.

 

“With the support of legends from the world of football who have been affected by devastating heart conditions, this ambitious partnership will undoubtedly save lives.”


Sky Bet Chief Commercial Officer Steve Birch, said: “We’re incredibly proud of our title sponsorship of the Sky Bet Play-Offs and it’s amazing to take our involvement even further and work with the British Heart Foundation to create the ‘Every Minute Matters’ campaign.

“It’s extraordinary to think that in just 15 minutes we can learn such a valuable skill and the real-life stories from the ‘Re-Starting 11’ are truly powerful. We’re confident the £3 million we hope to raise will make a big difference for the BHF and that we can achieve the goal of seeing 270,000 people learn lifesaving CPR through the RevivR training course.”

The Every Minute Matters activity in May is just the start of a year-long campaign. Throughout the summer and the 2024/25 season, Sky Bet and the BHF will work together on raising awareness and in tackling specific issues to help in the fight against SCA.

 

NOTES TO EDITORS

 

About the Re-Starting 11:
The ‘Re-Starting 11’ is an inspirational team of former and current professional players and fans who will share their own personal stories and experiences to help give people the confidence and skills to tackle the ultimate medical emergency. The team includes:

  • Graeme Souness (Team Manager): The former Liverpool FC player and manager was diagnosed with coronary heart disease after three of his arteries were blocked. Throughout his life, Graeme has undergone several operations and has suffered from a heart attack.
  • Glenn Hoddle (co-manager): The former Tottenham Hotspur legend and Chelsea and England manager suffered a cardiac arrest in October 2018 shortly after filming in the BT Sports studio. Glenn’s life was saved by sound engineer Simon Daniels who administered CPR and utilised the on-set defibrillator.

 

  • Tom Lockyer: The Welsh international footballer who collapsed playing for Luton Town during last year’s Sky Bet EFL Championship play-off final. Lockyer experienced an atrial flutter and underwent a procedure to treat it. After being given the all clear to return to football, he suffered a cardiac arrest during a Premier League match against Bournemouth in December 2023. His life was saved by club medics who rushed to perform CPR and provide early defibrillation. Lockyer was fitted with an implantable cardioverter defibrillator after he was hospitalised for five days.

 

  • Fabrice Muamba: The former Arsenal and Bolton Wanderers midfielder, suffered a cardiac arrest in 2012 during a televised FA Cup match. Fabrice’s heart stopped beating for a harrowing 78-minutes as medical staff on the pitch, including a cardiologist in the crowd, battled to save his life. Rushed to the hospital, Fabrice defied all expectations by making a recovery. The cause of Fabrice’s cardiac arrest was an undetected heart condition which forced him to retire from professional football. His story has become a powerful testament to the importance of heart health awareness and Fabrice continues to campaign alongside BHF.

 

  • David Ginola: The former Newcastle United and Spurs star collapsed after suffering a cardiac arrest in a charity game in the South of France in 2016. David’s heart stopped for eight minutes and his life was saved thanks to the swift actions of his friend and former professional footballer Frederic Mendy who performed CPR until medics arrived with a defibrillator.

 

 

  • Megan Tinsley: Derby County defender, Megan Tinsley was diagnosed with atrial septal defect (ASD) at the age of three - a condition in which there is a hole between the two collecting chambers of the heart - and had surgery two years later to address the issue. Following continued chest pains while playing football, Megan put her career on hold and had an implantable loop recorder (ILR) placed in her chest to monitor her heart rhythm and rate. Megan recently resumed her playing career for Derby County.

 

  • Claire Bailey: Doncaster Rovers employee Clare Bailey went to the GP with a suspected chest infection. The GP referred her to Doncaster Royal Infirmary where Clare subsequently had a cardiac arrest. Following two weeks in a coma, Clare underwent an urgent heart transplant in Manchester. Clare made a successful recovery and is now back working at the club she loves.

 

  • Adam Dodd: Adam is a semi-professional footballer who suffered a cardiac arrest at home. His life was saved by his girlfriend Kat who took decisive action and performed CPR until Paramedics arrived. Adam was taken to Blackpool hospital and put into an induced coma for four days. He made a successful recovery and is now fitted with an S-ICD and is back playing football again.

 

  • Lukas Jonassen: Amateur footballer Lukas suffered a cardiac arrest while playing six-a-side at North Kesteven Leisure Centre in Lincoln. His life was saved by a member of the opposite team, Tom Dunning, who performed CPR on him. Tom kept Lukas alive for 15 minutes until the paramedics took over and Lukas was taken to Lincoln hospital. Lukas made a full recovery.

 

  • Lee Stevenson: Sunderland AFC fan Lee’s life was saved by his fiancée and Newcastle United fan Amy Stevenson after he had a cardiac arrest at home. Amy bravely administered CPR while waiting for paramedics. Lee survived and has made a good recovery. Amy and Lee are now proud parents to 2-year-old Alice and are expecting their second child.

 

  • Andrew Barnett: Cardiff City fan Andrew was playing in a dads vs kids game when he suffered a cardiac arrest. His life was saved by leisure centre duty manager Ben Clarke who administered CPR and swimming teacher Sheila Mott who prepped the defibrillator. Andrew was treated for a blocked coronary artery with a stent and has since made a good recovery.

  • Nick Thomas: 46-year-old Everton fan Nick had a cardiac arrest playing regular Thursday night football in Oxfordshire last August. Nick’s life was saved by the quick-thinking of three of his team-mates who gave CPR and used a defibrillator to bring him back.

 

About Sky Bet:

Sky Bet is the UK’s number one sports betting brand with 2.5 million customers and nearly 2,500 staff. Based in Leeds, it is part of Flutter Entertainment, the largest online sports betting and gaming company in the world.

About the British Heart Foundation:

It is only with donations from the public that the BHF can keep its life saving research going. Help us turn science fiction into reality. With donations from the public, the BHF funds ground-breaking research that will get us closer than ever to a world free from the fear of heart and circulatory diseases. A world where broken hearts are mended, where millions more people survive a heart attack, where the number of people dying from or disabled by a stroke is slashed in half. A world where people affected by heart and circulatory diseases get the support they need. And a world of cures and treatments we can’t even imagine today. Find out more at bhf.org.uk     

 

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION

 

Sky Bet:

Steve Hawkes

Chief Reputation and External Affairs Officer, Flutter UK & Ireland

07733 310098

Steve.hawkes@flutteruki.com

Daniel Sales

PR Content & Editorial Manager, Sky Betting and Gaming

07872532692

Daniel.Sales@flutteruki.com

 

British Heart Foundation:

Lee Kettle
Campaigns Media Manager, British Heart Foundation
07741 908365
kettlel@bhf.org.uk

Amelia Komor
Fundraising Media Manager, British Heart Foundation
komora@bhf.org.uk

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