Leeds United stars back 'Every Minute Matters' campaign

Duo learn CPR ahead of Sky Bet Championship Play-Off Final.

CPR workshop banner.jpg

Players and staff from Leeds United and Southampton have teamed up on the eve of the Sky Bet Championship Play-Off final to call on football fans across the UK to join them in backing the ‘Every Minute Matters’ campaign.

Ahead of the final at Wembley stadium on Sunday, Leeds United players Junior Firpo and Sam Byram took time out from their preparations for Sunday’s match to learn the lifesaving CPR skill for themselves.

And they are urging the nation to play their part as the Sky Bet and British Heart Foundation campaign hits new heights.

New figures revealed that since being launched by a star-studded ‘Re-Starting 11’ of footballers and local heroes on May 1, the campaign has so far inspired more than 30,000 people to learn CPR with the BHF’s online RevivR tool.

And with just one game to go, the flurry of 37 goals in this year’s Sky Bet Play-Offs means that Sky Bet has pledged £370,000 to support the BHF’s vital work. Sky Bet wants to raise up to £3 million over the course of the 13-month campaign.

Leeds United defender Junior Firpo who learnt CPR this week said: “Learning CPR has been a genuinely eye-opening experience. I had no idea how simple and easy it is to do – and it’s a skill that can save someone’s life.”

He continued: “The Leeds United fans are simply incredible, they’ve stepped up and supported us every step of the way this season. I’d love them to show their support in a different way by backing this campaign and learning CPR themselves.”

The Play-Off final is a poignant moment to call on fans to get behind the campaign, as it marks a year since Tom Lockyer first collapsed due to an undiagnosed heart condition in last year’s Wembley tie.

In the message to all football fans, the Leeds manager, Daniel Farke said: “Tom’s collapse was a sudden and shocking reminder that heart conditions can affect us all, even the fittest of football players.”

Farke continued: “If all football fans were to spend just 15 minutes learning CPR it could make all the difference. What’s clear from Tom’s experience and the experience of thousands of people every year is that CPR saves lives. That’s why I’d urge the whole football community to come together and learn this potentially lifesaving skill.”

The Luton Town captain is one of the stars who launched ‘Every Minute Matters’ earlier this month, alongside Graeme Souness, Glenn Hoddle, Megan Tinsley, David Ginola and Fabrice Muamba.

The stars have appeared on TV and in the press across the UK since May 1, telling their own emotional stories and stressing the importance of learning CPR.

Lockyer said: “This time last year I had no idea what was ahead of me. It’s great to be part of this campaign and it’s amazing to see the reaction we’ve had.”

“My message to football fans is unite behind your team this weekend, whoever you support, and unite behind our shared goal of saving lives by learning CPR. It could mean the difference between life and death for a loved one, a stranger or even a team-mate.”

There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year. 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.

The Sky Bet and BHF Every Minute Matters campaign urges everyone to take just 15 minutes to learn CPR with RevivR, the BHF’s free and easy to use online tool.

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 of the British Heart Foundation said: “Whether you are attending a match this weekend, watching from the comfort of your own sofa or getting together with friends, there is no better goal than to learn CPR. It only takes 15 minutes using the BHF’s RevivR tool and could lead to the most important save of all – saving a life.”

Related Content

  1. 01
  2. 02
  3. 03