Back row (L-R): Gareth Moore, McDonald’s Franchisee Supervisor and Collie Toman, Oxford Sunnyside Football Club Front row (L-R): Oxford Sunnyside FC players Ryan Moore and Matthew Magee.
A local football club has welcomed the gift of what it described as a potentially “lifesaving defibrillator” from its local McDonald’s restaurant.
Oxford Sunnyside Football Club had been raising urgent funds to replace its defibrillator before the McDonald’s restaurant at Rushmere, Craigavon stepped forward with the donation of the new device.
The Club said the critical importance of having a defibrillator in place was highlighted by the collapse of Danish footballer Christian Eriksen during the UEFA European Football Championships in May 2021.
Brian Magee, secretary at Oxford Sunnyside FC, said: “I don’t think anyone could have failed to be shocked by Christian Eriksen’s collapse on the pitch during the Denmark versus Finland game earlier this year.
“It was thanks to the swift action of teammates and medics on the pitch – including the use of a defibrillator – that he survived and has made a good recovery from his cardiac arrest. This really shone a light on the importance of our club, and every club at amateur and semi-professional level, having a defibrillator in place.
“It would have taken us months to fundraise enough money to buy a new device, so we are extremely humbled by McDonald’s outstanding generosity in donating this new defibrillator to us. Supporting the welfare of our players and volunteers at Oxford Sunnyside is always our top priority, and having this device on-site could make the difference in saving somebody’s life.”
The defibrillator device - which gives a high-energy electric shock to the heart - can increase survival rates by up to 70% in the event of a cardiac arrest. Yet while British Heart Foundation statistics show that heart attacks claim the lives of 12 under 35s a week in England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, thousands of grassroots clubs are still operating without sufficient medical equipment.
McDonald’s Franchisee John McCollum said: “Through our partnership with the Irish Football Association, McDonald’s supports hundreds of grassroots football clubs across Northern Ireland, providing Fun Football centres, festivals and coaching to thousands of young people every year.
“Alongside this, our 33 restaurants are committed to supporting causes that are important to our employees and our local communities. We are proud to have had the opportunity to support Oxford Sunnyside in a very practical and meaningful way through the donation of this defibrillator – the need for which has become even more apparent following this year’s Euros.”