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Graeme Souness calls on football fans to learn lifesaving CPR

Graeme Souness has called on football fans to learn critical first-aid techniques.

The football legend, who was diagnosed with coronary heart disease in his early thirties, knows how vital CPR can be - which is why he's teamed up with the British Heart Foundation (BHF) on its new campaign.

A new survey of 2,000 UK adults commissioned by BHF to honour National Heart Month has shown that nearly half of Brits know someone who has suffered a cardiac arrest, while one in 5 people have been in a situation where they needed to perform CPR.

There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year, but less than one in 10 people survive. Early CPR and defibrillation can more than double the chances of surviving a cardiac arrest.

In light of footballer Christian Eriksen's cardiac arrest on the pitch during a Euro 2020 match, the research also found that nine out of 10 fans were keen to learn how to perform CPR but a staggering 45 per cent of the population admitted that they wouldn't be able to spot the signs of a cardiac arrest.

Former Liverpool captain and pundit Souness, 69, recently surprised Tooting & Mitcham United FC to put players through their paces with a pitch-side CPR training session using the BHF's free online tool RevivR.

Shin pads that included simple CPR instructions were also handed out to the players, as a reminder whilst under pressure. The shin pads are part of a trial by the British Heart Foundation that could be rolled out nationwide.

Souness, a long-standing ambassador for the charity, insisted that "if every football fan across the UK did the 15-minute session to learn CPR it could be a game changer for survival rates".

"CPR is a game changer and could be the most important lesson you ever learn," he continued. "With RevivR, in just 15 minutes - the length of half time - you will have the skills to save a life. Every fan in every football club across the country can make a difference so please join the BHF today and let's unite to create a new team of lifesavers."

Graeme also recounted to the team his own experience of coronary heart disease after the diagnosis left him questioning, "How could this happen to me?"

Whilst managing Liverpool, the sportsman went on to have a triple heart bypass in what he describes as an "extremely vulnerable" experience.

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive at British Heart Foundation, added: "As a nation of football lovers, we're delighted to have the support of legend of the game Graeme Souness to encourage fans to learn lifesaving CPR.

"A cardiac arrest can happen to anyone, anywhere, at any age. If every fan in the country took the 15 minutes it takes to learn CPR with RevivR, it could mean the difference between life and death."

RevivR means anyone can learn CPR - and all that is needed is a mobile phone and a cushion. It teaches how to recognise a cardiac arrest, gives feedback on chest compressions and outlines the correct steps of using a defibrillator, giving anyone the confidence to help in the ultimate medical emergency.

For more information on RevivR visit: www.bhf.org.uk/revivr