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Football charity helping to save lives on the field

Between 2014 and 2016, 15 football (soccer) players and officials died as a result of heart attacks on New South Wales sporting fields.

Football is the most popular team sport in Australia with 1.1 million people playing the game.

Not-for-profit charity Heart Beat of Football is campaigning for defibrillators to be installed at every sporting field in the country.

Former SBS journalist Andy Pascalides founded the charity after losing his dear friend Matt Richardson, aged 43, during a game.

“That was a tough day in June”, Andy tells Alan Jones.

“We just thought Matt had swallowed his tongue, but obviously it was a lot more serious, on a day he was moving house with his gorgeous young family, his van was packed and ready to go after the game. But we lost him”.

Andy wants to get the message out there, that this could happen to anyone.

“On the weekend I just got notification – the first woman to qualify as a combat diver in the Australian army, 26 years of age, has played for three W league teams.

“No pulse, no blood pressure, a heart rate of 218… so it affects us all, it’s not just the old fellas”.

In the last 16 months, seven player’s lives have been saved thanks to defibrillators, CPR and first aid response.

Two of those lives were saved by Dr John Galicek who also joins Alan Jones…

Click PLAY below for the full interview

The Heart Beat Of Football is holding a fundraiser on Saturday, May 26 at the Canterbury-Hurlstone Park RSL.

Click HERE for details