Stephen Carey Fund secures lifesaving memorial

The Stephen Carey Fund - set up in memory of the 21-year-old who collapsed and died while playing football - has installed its first defibrillator

Members of Stephen Carey’s family, representatives from Shilbottle Parish Council and the North East Ambulance Service with the first defibrillator provided by the fund
Members of Stephen Carey’s family, representatives from Shilbottle Parish Council and the North East Ambulance Service

A fund set up in the name of a tragic young footballer has installed its first defibrillator.

The Stephen Carey Fund was set up in memory of the 21-year-old from Alnmouth who collapsed and died while playing for his village team.

Stephen had suffered from a heart defect, and the fund was then set up to provide medical training to officials at local non-league sides, as well as first aid equipment.

It has now overseen the installation of its first debrillator.

The equipment has been put in place on the outside wall of the K-Chem Pharmacy on Grange Road in Shilbottle.

Money for the £2,000 defibrillator was raised by the fund – set up by Dougie McEwan, father of Stephen’s friend Scott, and Sean Henderson, his manager at Alnmouth, with a contribution from the player’s mum Joy Bowman. The fund’s bosses asked Mrs Bowman where she would like it to be placed and she decided on Shilbottle, where Stephen had lived before moving to Alnmouth.

They approached Shilbottle Parish Council which supported the suggestion and then spoke to the pharmacy.

Mr McEwan senior said: “This is a community project and we are delighted with the response we have seen from local people and organisations. The parish council and schools as well as local businesses have all been extremely receptive to our approaches and we truly feel that this achievement is not down to just the fund but to the collective community.”

Parish council chairman Tom Scott said: “This defibrillator is truly a great asset for the village but one I hope that we will never have to use.”

The fund has purchased a second defibrillator which is soon to be installed at Alnwick Cricket Club.

The cost of that facility has been met by the town’s John Bull Inn, through its letter draw.

The criteria of giving the money was that the equipment had to be sited within the town and the fund chose the cricket club as its grounds are always open and well lit and because it is close to sports clubs and residential areas.

Club bosses were happy to give permission.

Meanwhile, the fund has also arranged for 108 people from football clubs in the North Northumberland and Morpeth Sunday leagues to undergo FA first aid training, which will include CPR and dealing with unconscious casualties.

The fund is also to provide free first aid kit to all the clubs involved.

Bosses have also organised a fun day at Alnmouth on Saturday, with funfair and beer tent, which it is hoped will raise the money to put a defibrillator in Stephen’s home village.

Stephen, a Newcastle United fan who worked at Iceland in Alnwick, was playing for Alnmouth at Warkworth when he collapsed in July 2012.

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