Ten-year anniversary of footballing tragedy marked by Stephen Carey Fund

A charity is marking the tenth anniversary of the tragic death of a young footballer with a renewed awareness campaign.

Friday, 8th July 2022, 8:00 am
Updated Friday, 8th July 2022, 3:41 pm

Stephen Carey was just 21 when he died while playing a pre-season friendly for Alnmouth United on July 12, 2012.

He rose to head the ball but collapsed on landing and, despite the efforts of players, coaching staff and supporters, never regained consciousness.

It was later revealed that Stephen had an undiagnosed heart condition and this was likely to have been triggered during the exertions of the match.

Stephen Carey.

A year later The Stephen Carey Fund was launched with the goal of providing free emergency first aid training to two representatives from teams in the North Northumberland Football League and Morpeth Sunday League along with a free first aid kit for each team.

Volunteers behind the project also set about raising funds and installing community public access defibrillators.

Dougie McEwan from the charity said: “We’ve now got over 200 defibrillators in Northumberland and 161 of them are public access so there’s been a lot of great work done over the past decade.

"It’s difficult to know how many people have been saved as a result because of data protection issues but we know of at least 11 and there could be a lot more.”

A recent CPR training session in Rothbury.

The charity has raised some £370,000 in that time but there is more to be done.

"We get enquiries every week from community groups, schools and sports teams,” said Dougie.

A lot of the charity’s efforts also go into training sessions on how to use the defibrillators and how to perform cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).

"We’ve had about 7,000 people through our familiarisation sessions at different venues across Northumberland,” he added.

Stephen Carey.

"They are life-saving pieces of equipment and everyone should know how to use them.”

Preparations are now being made for the annual Stephen Carey Memorial Cup being held from July 23-30 at Seafield Park, North Sunderland.

Funds raised will be split between The Stephen Carey Fund and the Shaw family from Shilbottle whose two daughters were diagnosed with a rare brain disorder.

To find out more visit The Stephen Carey Fund’s Facebook page.

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