THE Star has been nominated for a major, national award in recognition of our campaign to save lives.
We launched the ‘Safety on the Sidelines’ campaign in April following the death of Dronfield referee Roger Evans, 58.
He collapsed after officiating at a non-league game on March 24. Despite attempts at resuscitation, in the absence of a defibrillator, and due to the remote location of the pitch in Derbyshire, he died at the scene.
The tragedy prompted the family to call for the installation of life-saving defibrillators in sport centres across our region.
We backed the idea, as did Sheffield and Hallamshire FA and Dronfield funeral director Roy Cutts who co-ordinated much of the fund-raising. Evans’ daughter, Helen, The Star, the local FA and Cutts are now all shortlisted in the ‘First Aid Champion’ category of the St John’s Ambulance awards in London next month.
The award “recognises individuals who have gone to exceptional lengths to improve first aid within their communities”.
The Star and the local FA raised nearly £10,000, which should fund 20 defibrillators at sports grounds around South Yorkshire and North Derbyshire. The FA is expected to donate £400,000 for machines and another national charity is likely to match-fund that.
Helen said: “We wanted to prevent more lives being lost needlessly through the provision of first-aid equipment. A defibrillator might have been the one thing that could have save Dad’s life and hopefully we can help save more lives in the future.”