Bolton Wanderers players are backing a campaign to inspire the nation to learn CPR.

Ahead of Bolton’s Play-Off final showdown this weekend with Oxford United, Bolton players Randell Williams and Josh Dacres-Cogley have joined former Bolton star and cardiac arrest survivor Fabrice Muamba in urging the nation to learn CPR.

The campaign is backed by Sky Bet and  led by British Heart Foundation.

Williams and Dacres-Cogley teamed up with Muamba at the Toughsheet Community Stadium to learn CPR as part of Sky Bet and the British Heart Foundation’s (BHF) Every Minute Matters campaign, which is urging more than a quarter of a million people to learn the lifesaving skill.

Sky Bet has pledged to raise £3 million to fund the BHF’s vital work and fundraising is already well under way with Sky Bet donating £10,000 for every goal scored in the Sky Bet Play-Offs.

Bolton’s five goals have played a significant role, contributing £50,000 to a total of £250,000 in donations from Sky Bet thanks to the 25 goals that have been scored so far in this year’s Play-Offs.

To date, over 27,000 people have stepped up to save lives by starting to learn CPR in just the first two weeks of the campaign.

The Bolton News: Bolton players Randell Williams and Josh Dacres-CogleyBolton players Randell Williams and Josh Dacres-Cogley (Image: Sky Bet)Former Bolton star Fabrice Muamba said: “This campaign is really personal to me, without CPR I simply wouldn’t be here today. Before I collapsed in 2012, I was just Fabrice afterwards I was the miracle man. I was gone, but CPR brought me back.

“It’s great to come back to Bolton and I’m delighted that Josh and Randell have taken the time out in a busy week to help me raise awareness and spread the message that anyone can learn CPR.

“I’d love Bolton to win on Saturday, but what would make me even happier is if every fan watching   the game took a few minutes to learn CPR. That really would be something incredible.”

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Josh Dacres-Cogley said: “It was great to meet Fabrice today, his story made a huge impact on football because at the time it was so unexpected and shocking.

“It showed that in the football world we need to be more aware of the dangers of cardiac arrest and how to use CPR to potentially save someone’s life.

“But it’s not just about football, you might need to use CPR in any walk of life, whether that’s in the street or in your workplace. It’s why, I think everyone should take just 15 minutes to learn CPR.”

Bolton winger, Randell Williams, said: “It’s been really interesting and educational to learn CPR. Often people can be scared to use CPR, but what I learned today is that it’s actually pretty straightforward.

“I’d urge all Bolton fans to step up and show their support by learning CPR with the help of the BHFs simple training video.”

The Bolton News: Fabrice MuambaFabrice Muamba (Image: Sky Bet)Joanne Whitmore, Senior Cardiac Nurse at British Heart Foundation (BHF), said: “Fabrice’s story is a powerful reminder that CPR saves lives.

“It’s so encouraging that current players like Randell and Josh are so passionate and eager to learn CPR and help drive awareness of the Sky Bet and BHF Every Minute Matters campaign.

“These lifesaving skills really can be the difference between life and death. That’s why we’re urging everyone to take 15 minutes – the length of the half-time interval – to learn CPR via our free online tool RevivR during this year’s Sky Bet EFL Play-Offs.

“Together we hope we will equip thousands more fans with the knowledge and confidence to perform CPR and use a defibrillator in the crucial moments following a cardiac arrest - because in the ultimate medical emergency, every minute really does matter.”

The campaign launched on May 1 with the aim of recruiting 270,000 people to learn CPR in 12 months and is fronted by a ‘Re-Starting 11’ of football and community heroes such as Graeme Souness, Glenn Hoddle, Tom Lockyer, Megan Tinsley, David Ginola and Fabrice Muamba.

There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year, equating to at least five every 90 minutes.

Each minute that passes without CPR reduces the chance of survival by up to 10 per cent.

Tragically, less than one in ten people survive, often because those around them lack the skills or confidence to perform CPR.

Every Minute Matters aims to engage 270,000 people – the equivalent of three Wembley’s – to learn lifesaving CPR in just 15 minutes with RevivR, the BHF’s free and easy to use digital tool over the next 12 months.

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