THE MANAGER of Bromsgrove Sporting FC has been left overwhelmed after his campaign to raise funds for clubs who cannot afford to buy a defibrillator exceeded expectations.
Paul Smith set up a JustGiving page last Thursday hoping to raise £1,500 which would have been enough to buy four defibs for clubs across the county who did not have the luxury of owning the life-saving equipment.
But in the space of a week more than £2,000 has been pledged which can cover the cost for five defibs and the cash continues to flow in.
“The support I have received just shows the respect people have for those life-saving machines,” Mr Smith told the Standard.
“A great amount of money has come in and hopefully it will keep on rising.
“Even if I had only raised enough to buy one defib for one non-league club, I would have been happy because it is one more which could save lives.
“But to have raised more than £2,000 is just overwhelming because I want to be able to buy as many defibs as possible for those clubs without them.”
Mr Smith felt inspired to launch the fund-raising campaign after hearing how a defib had been used to save the life a passionate Alvechurch fan who had suffered a cardiac arrest whilst watching his beloved club’s league game against Gresley.
While paramedics, an ambulance crew and air ambulance headed to the Lye Meadow ground, the defib was used to keep Rick Edwards’ heart beating as he went in and out of consciousness.
Mr Edwards was then taken to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch and is well on the road to recovery and has since donated £125 to the fund-raising campaign.
“While I was reading about Rick, I had a notification on my phone which said Liverpool had spent £75million on a new defender,” said Mr Smith.
“I could not catch my breath because that kind of money could give every non-league club a defib.
“So on the back of that and what had happened to Rick I thought why not raise some money to give clubs without a defib the life-saving equipment.”
Any clubs wishing to enter a random draw to be brought a defib should email Mr Smith directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Anyone wanting to donate can do so by visiting https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/paul-smith-655.