Jamie Carragher teams up with bereaved dad to make defibrillators mandatory in all schools

Video report by ITV News Correspondent Rachel Townsend

A former Liverpool football player is supporting calls to make defibrillators mandatory in all schools and sports clubs around the country.

Jamie Carragher says if that happens, lives will be saved.

He has teamed up with Mark King, the founder of The Oliver King Foundation, to highlight the importance of the life-saving equipment.

Mark created the foundation in 2012 when his son, Oliver, suffered a sudden cardiac arrest during a swimming race in 2011.

Had there been access to a defibrillator at the school, the 12-year-old's life could have been saved. 

Mark and his team have managed to get 5,500 defibrillators out since February 2012, saving 56 lives along the way with the youngest being just four.

Mark King said: "Our Olly never let me down in the short time that he was here and I'm not going to let him down - and it is as simple as that."

Now a Sky Sports presenter, Jamie Carragher said: "The first time I met Mark, he was actually giving us the training to put in a defibrillator.

"That defibrillator actually saved someone's life, so we could actually see the power of it.

"We joined forces with The Oliver King Foundation to put in as many defibrillators as we can around this country and I want to help him as much as I possibly can."

Crystal Palace Head of Medical Services Dr Zafar Iqbal wrote a letter to MPs and the Prime Minister on behalf of the foundation on August 5 2021. 

The letter was signed by notable figures in the North-West including Jamie Carragher, Raheem Sterling, Kyle Walker, Steven Gerrard, Jordan Henderson and Andres Townsend.

The letter explains how far the UK is behind other developed countries in saving people who have suffered a serious cardiac arrest (SCA), and highlights the work of the Oliver King Foundation.

Retired footballer Fabrice Muamba, who suffered a SCA himself on a football pitch while playing for Bolton in 2012, also signed the letter alongside Crystal Palace chairman Steve Parish and elite medical staff from huge Premier League football clubs.

On behalf of The Oliver King Foundation, the MP for Strangford, Northern Ireland Jim Shannon is bringing about a second reading of a bill to parliament on September 10 calling on the government to make defibrillators mandatory in schools and sports clubs across the country.