Rotherham football club in bid to save lives

John Richardson, Assistant Manager, Marc Gill, Manager, with  Ryan Zon and Club Chairman Paul Neville Pictured with Aston Swallownest Under 12s
John Richardson, Assistant Manager, Marc Gill, Manager, with Ryan Zon and Club Chairman Paul Neville Pictured with Aston Swallownest Under 12s

A footballer who almost died after suffering a cardiac arrest during a game prompted his former junior club to buy a defibrillator to help save other lives.

Ryan Zon, aged 21, from Aston, was playing for Swallownest Miners Welfare Reserves when he collapsed during a game in Sheffield in 2013.

He was initially helped by members of the opposition team - Sheffield Medics FC - and some rugby players who raced across from a neighbouring field before paramedics arrived to take over.

Hospital tests revealed Ryan was born with a previously undiagnosed heart condition, where one of his arteries grew the wrong way, which stopped the blood circulating.

He and his family organised a number of fundraising activities to pay for a defibrillator for the Swallownest community and now Aston Swallownest JFC, which he was a member of as a child, has bought another device to be used when its teams play at home.

Players took part in fundraising activities.

Ryan said: “I owe my life to the trainee doctors and I just happened to be in the right place at the right time when I suffered a cardiac arrest during a match. We are seeing more and more cases, so having a defibrillator available could be the difference between life and death.”

Paul Neville, Chairman of Aston Swallownest JFC, said: “We hope lightning will not strike twice, but if we are faced with an incident like this again our club and team managers will be better equipped and trained by St John Ambulance to deal with it.”

To purchase a defibrillator or book first aid and other safety training courses, call 0844 770 4800.