A ST HELENS councillor is calling for the Football Association and Premier League to provide lifesaving equipment at grassroots and amateur sporting grounds around the country.

Following the collapse of Danish footballer Christian Eriksen on the pitch against Finland at the start of the Euro 2020 Championships, Cllr Michael Haw, who is a ward and parish councillor for Eccleston, wants to see defibrillators easily accessible to players and spectators at all clubs, not just those in the top flight.

He wants the leading sporting organisations to use the money given by the six clubs involved in the failed European Super League – each club has agreed to pay £22m as a gesture of goodwill.

St Helens Star: Denmark's Christian Eriksen uis recovering after collapsing at the start of Euro 2020

The Resuscitation Council UK highlighted that around 30,000 people suffer a cardiac arrest each year in the UK with effective defibrillation established as the only effective therapy, with early treatment proving vital.

The My Heart Beat Eccleston campaign has resulted in 11 public access defibrillators installed across Eccleston, Eccleston Park and St Helens but Cllr Haw wants additional machines to help save the lives of people in the region.

He has been actively campaigning for defibrillators to be installed in locations around town after revealing how his cousin Chris Haw died aged 25 of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome in 2006.

Cllr Haw said: “Working in partnership with the Football Association (FA), the Premier League can ensure that every grassroots and amateur football club in England has access to a defibrillator.

“To pay for the defibrillators, I propose that the Premier League use the money that is to be received from the six Premier League clubs involved in the failed breakaway European Super League.

“In a joint statement on June 9, the Premier League and the FA said the six English clubs had collectively agreed to make a payment of £22m as a gesture of goodwill and that the money will go towards the good of the game.

“Based on the events of Saturday, June 12, I see no better use of that money than providing defibrillators for those grassroots and amateur football clubs in England that urgently need them.”

St Helens Star:

The campaign also saw a defib placed at the Lester Drive centre in Eccleston

Former Manchester United and England defender and television commentator Gary Neville said that in the midst of a pandemic, more investment should have gone into grassroots football rather than a European Super League.

As well as installing machines, Cllr Haw wants training provided so that people can use the defibrillators correctly.

He added: “It is also important to acknowledge that installing a defibrillator is just one link in the chain of survival and that educating and training people in CPR is equally essential.

“The FA, working in conjunction with the British Heart Foundation, has already helped part-fund and place around 600 defibrillators at grassroots clubs across the country, including emergency first aid training.

“This infrastructure can be used and strengthened to ensure that every club receives a defibrillator and the required training.

“When someone collapses on a football pitch and their heart stops, the next few seconds are absolutely critical. Every minute without CPR and defibrillation can reduce their chance of survival by ten per cent.

“As we saw in Copenhagen, having access to a defibrillator and CPR can be the difference between life and death.”

My Heart Beat Eccleston campaign resulted in defibrillators being installed at the following locations:

Eccleston Village Hall

The Tunza Pride Charity Centre;

One Stop Store, Eccleston

Eccleston Mere Primary School;

Eccleston Park Tennis Club;

Planet Kids Day Nursery;

Lester Drive Centre;

Gerrard Arms Public House;

The Griffin Inn Public House;

Ecclesfield Changing Facilty;

Eccleston Medical Centre.