STAR CAMPAIGN: Owls fans could be life-savers

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SHEFFIELD FC are planning to invite Sheffield Wednesday supporters to boost the campaign to provide life-saving machines across local, grassroots grounds.

The world’s oldest club was saddened by the recent death of referee Roger Evans.

Evans - who collapsed from a heart attack after officiating at a non-league game - lived in Dronfield, where Sheffield FC are based.

Since the tragedy, The Star and Sheffield and Hallamshire FA and top ref Howard Webb have backed a campaign to acquire defibrillators - a device that gives the heart an electric shock after cardiac arrest - for local clubs. Now Sheffield FC are offering to contribute to the cause.

Ian Whitehorne, general manager at Sheffield, has identified a mid-July friendly with Wednesday as a game where supporters can contribute.

“We are working on a plan to charge £3 entry, with the option of fans adding an extra pound that would go to the campaign,” said Whitehorne. “Hopefully that will be enough to purchase one defibrillator, and if it’s not I will make up the difference.

“Roger was a great character and without people like him officiating on Saturdays and Sundays there would be no non-league. We will also be inviting Roger’s family to the game.”

James Hope-Gill, Chief Executive of the S&H FA, said there was a dialogue going on with the British Heart Foundation to see if donations could be matched by them, so more machines can be purchased. Sheffield FC’s gesture was deeply appreciated, he said.

n You can donate to the cause via www.hides.force9.co.uk/rogerevans