THE family of tragic referee Roger Evans have welcomed the poignant donation of a life-saving defibrillator to his home town of Dronfield.
The equipment, which stimulates the heart after an arrest, was purchased after donations from locals and has been installed at the nearby £1.3m Gosforth Fields sports area and centre.
It will be housed in a first aid room which has been now been named after 59-year-old Evans, as a permanent tribute to his memory.
Last Sunday, on Father’s Day, Evans’ widow and two children were at Gosforth to see the defibrillator installed. It will be available to the 900 children and 300 adults that use the facilities there weekly - including members of Dronfield Town, AFC Dronfield and Dronfield Rugby club.
John Morris, chairman of Gosforth Sports Association, told family and supporters of the campaign, that he hoped the defibrillator would never have to be used.
But he also pointed out there had been a “frightening” number of cardiac tragedies in sport, some involving victims as young as 13.
The impact of a ball, a knee or an elbow in the chest area could possibly trigger on a heart attack, he said.
“With the number of people using our facility growing, the number of people who might need this equipment will increase” he said. “If we save one life, it will justify the cost” he said.
Graham Bearder, President of AFC Dronfield, said it had been a “humbling” experience to be able to help The Star and family’s appeal to install the elctronic kits.
“We are glad we have been able to make this gesture” he said.
Evans’ widow Sue said: “Gosforth is a special place because Roger has refereed here a lot and her children had played sport here from an early age.”
n The target is to provide as many defibrillators as possible to 500 school, local authority or private sites across our region.
You can donate to this cause through PayPal (see www.hides.force9.co.uk/rogerevans) or send funds to email@example.com. Further information: e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org