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Calls For Defibrillators At Grassroots Sports Grounds Amplified After Vale Cricketer Dies


The campaign to ensure all grassroots sports grounds are fitted with defibrillators has gained further momentum through the tragic death of a cricketer from Barry, on Saturday afternoon.

Maqsood Anwar was playing for Sully against Monkswood Cricket Club in the sweltering afternoon sun when he, sadly, collapsed and died of a suspected heart attack.

The 44-year-old father of three, described as "a real gentleman" by Sully club chairman, David Sylvester, was said to have been delighted to be playing his third game for Sully. It has been said by friends and colleagues that it is possible his life could have been saved had the club been fitted with a defibrillator.

Sully Centurions Cricket Club has confirmed it will discuss the issue of defibrillators at their club meeting tonight and, additionally, a memorial fund will be set up in Maqsood's name by the club. David Sylvester, club chairman said of Mr Anwar:

"He was a real gentleman, quietly spoken but wanted to do things to help the club as well as play."

Maqsood's friend and fellow cricketer, Zia Gehlan, said of the tragic event:

"Max bowled four overs, got a bit of pain in his chest and said he didn't feel well - he thought he had heat stroke and an ambulance was called.

"Then he collapsed - if he had known the symptoms it would have been different.

"He didn't smoke, he didn't drink, he was just one of the kindest of men."

Gehlan continued:

"The ambulance was there and they confirmed it was a heart attack, they tried to revive him but it was too late.

"He passed away doing what he loved doing - playing cricket.


"There should be a defibrillator on site, they could have had the machine on him. If clubs can afford covers this should be funded too." 

There is an existing, fully-registered defibrillator near where the Centurions were playing, situated on the sports ground at the Jubilee Hall building, adjacent to the cricket pitch.

It seems that those leading the rescue attempt were not aware of its existence, choosing instead to head for the Post Office, before paramedics quickly arrived and attempted to revive Mr Anwar.

Barry Athletic Cricket Club, for whom Maqsood had played for over 15 years, said that they were devastated to hear about his death, describing him as a "true gentleman".

Additionally, Monkswood Cricket Club, the club in opposition on the field on Saturday afternoon, located near Usk in Monmouthshire, said:

"We would also like to express our thanks to the ambulance crew and first responders who attended the scene.

"Yesterday's events reiterate the necessity of having defibrillators at all sports venues. We support all calls for legislative change and funding to allow this."

The Welsh government has said it is funding the promotion of CPR training and defibrillators at sports clubs. A spokesman said:

"The number of defibrillators in communities and buildings across Wales is increasing constantly and we would encourage people to register them with the ambulance service.

"We have provided funding to the Save a Life Cymru campaign, which is working with organisations across Wales, including sporting organisations, to raise awareness of the importance of CPR training and the use of defibrillators through the Touch Someone's Life campaign."

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