A SUFFOLK football ground now has a defibrillator thanks to an 11-year-old boy.
Alfie Woolnough decided to raise money for a defibrillator after seeing Christian Eriksen collapse while playing for Denmark against Finland in a Euro 2020 group match.
Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during the group match in Copenhagen in June and required urgent medical attention.
Danish midfielder Eriksen is continuing his recovery, but the incident left its mark on the youngster.
Alfie decided he wanted to raise money to purchase a defibrillator for Maestros FC, who play at Delson’s Meadow in Stonham Aspal, which is used by players from three years old up to the first team.
Alfie plays for Maestros FC on Saturdays and Needham Phoenix on Sundays, as well as training once a week at Ipswich Town’s Advanced Training Centre at Needham Market.
Alfie undertook to run/cycle 100 miles in the next month to raise money for a defibrillator, which has now been presented to his club.
Alfie Woolnough pictured with his Maestros Youth FC coaches Liam Hawkins (left) and Ellis Smith (right) at Delson's Meadow in Stonham Aspal
His mum Emma Woolnough said: “We were really surprised how quickly Alfie reached his target.
“The kindness and generosity of people was so overwhelming; we were especially surprised as people continued to donate even though they knew he had reached his target.
“It was lovely to be contacted by strangers who wanted to share their stories of how defibrillators saved their loved one’s lives.”
Emma said that Alfie decided he wanted to bike the whole 100 miles as he enjoys cycling more than running. Unfortunately, this took a couple of extra weeks to achieve as Alfie was ill the first week and half-way through he had to isolate for 10 days after coming into contact with someone with Covid-19.
She continued: “There were also a few mishaps along the way though. There were a few punctures and a couple of times I forget to start the miles recorder, so when we got home we didn’t know how far we’d biked! Alfie thought it was a better idea for dad to take over the cycling with him, so I think I had a lucky escape!”
Emma, who is a student nurse, added: “Having a defibrillator at the football ground will have such a positive impact on the football community.
“The ground is used by hundreds of people on a weekly basis, not just by footballers but supporters, referees and linesmen. Hopefully the defibrillator will not be needed, but I think just by having the defibrillator available gives people that bit of extra reassurance and knowing the lifesaving piece of equipment is close by and the difference it can make to a person’s survival rates can only be a positive thing.”
Alfie raising money to buy defibrillator