Life-saving equipment presented to Verulamians at annual charity game

Pictured from left: Andy and Angela Clifford, Tony Maile, Paul McGoohan, Rob Lines and RFU senior vi

Pictured from left: Andy and Angela Clifford, Tony Maile, Paul McGoohan, Rob Lines and RFU senior vice president Peter Baines - Credit: Archant

While the recent Rugby World Cup may not have staged any games in Hertfordshire, one club still took advantage – buying a potentially life-saving piece of equipment.

Verulamians Rugby Club, based at Cotlandswick, raised funds during the tournament for a defibrillator, which they were presented with at the annual fathers and sons post-Christmas game.

The Primedic HeartSave AED is designed for public use.

It provides audio guidance of the simple steps required to use it, meaning it can be used for children as well as adults, especially important when the club has players ranging from five through to veterans.

The defibrillator was purchased from Hertford-based, Spacelabs Healthcare.

Their finance director, Rob Lines, still has strong links with the club and played on the day.

He said: “We hope of course to never have to use it, but it’s comforting to know the club could react quickly if someone suffered a heart-attack.

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“The odds of survival can be increased to around 50 per cent if prompt CPR delivery and early defibrillation are combined.

“For every minute that passes, the chance of a defibrillator re-starting the heart reduces by up to 10 per cent.

“I think every sports club should be prepared, just in case.”

The money was raised by inviting people to guess the outcomes and scores of the competition, won by New Zealand at Twickenham.

The funds were then topped-up with a donation from Sedex.

The annual charity game was seen as the perfect occasion to make the presentation.

It is a day when players “of the older generations” from the Old Albanian and St Albans clubs, as well as Vees, dust off their boots to play a light-hearted game of rugby alongside their sons.

The whole day is geared to share the camaraderie of rugby and raising funds for injured rugby players.

In the end 40 players from the three clubs took part, fuelled with mince pies and port.

The smooth refereeing of John Eyre helped treat a substantial crowd of supporters to a rare display of flowing rugby in the mud.

With tries in double figures and almost no kicking for position, Cotlandswick witnessed an hour of champagne rugby rivalling Twickenham at its finest.

Players and supporters were congratulated after the game by RFU senior vice president Peter Baines, present on behalf of the RFU Injured Players Foundation.

He commented: “Community rugby is alive and well in St Albans.”