Footballer Charlie Wyke: thankful to manager Leam Richardson for saving my life

FORMER Rotherham United loan star Charlie Wyke has teamed up with ex-Millers boss Leam Richardson to reveal the importance of CPR.

In a new film made for the ‘Every Minute Matters’ campaign the two reveal how Leam saved Charlie’s life.

Every Minute Matters, made through the British Heart Foundation and Sky Bet, aims to recruit 270,000 people – the equivalent of three capacity Wembley crowds – to learn lifesaving CPR over the next year.

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The campaign urges everyone to take 15 minutes to learn CPR through the BHF’s free and easy to use online tool RevivR.

SAVED LIFE: EX-Millers boss RichardsonSAVED LIFE: EX-Millers boss Richardson
SAVED LIFE: EX-Millers boss Richardson

In November 2021, Charlie’s heart stopped for four minutes when he suffered a cardiac arrest and his boss at the time, Leam Richardson, saved his life by administering immediate CPR.

The duo relived the day in an emotive film shot at Wembley.

After Charlie’s cardiac arrest, Leam acted quickly beginning the resuscitation process with CPR, before club doctor Jonathan Tobin - who also saved the life of Fabrice Muamba on the pitch in 2012 when the Bolton midfielder collapsed against Tottenham - took over.

Wyke has joined a line-up of footballers impacted by life-threatening heart conditions dubbed the ‘Re-Starting 11’. The one-off team includes former international stars Graeme Souness, David Ginola, Glenn Hoddle and current Luton Town captain Tom Lockyer.

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LIFE SAVED: Former Millers loanee Charlie WykeLIFE SAVED: Former Millers loanee Charlie Wyke
LIFE SAVED: Former Millers loanee Charlie Wyke

Wyke said: “I think it’s absolutely key that everybody learns CPR. It only takes 15 minutes to learn online. It's so important because you never know when you might need it. It saved my life, and I am so thankful that Leam and Dr Tobin were on hand to help administer CPR when they did.”

As part of the campaign, Sky Bet has pledged to raise £3 million to fund the BHF’s work. Fundraising is already well under way with Sky Bet donating £10,000 for every goal scored in the Sky Bet 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 Sky Bet-British Heart Foundation ‘Every Minute Matters’ campaign.

So far the campaign has contributed a total of £330,000 in donations from Sky Bet to the BHF thanks to the 33 goals that have been scored so far in this year’s Play-Offs.

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Richardson added: “From the experience I had with Charlie, I know that learning CPR is paramount. I was so thankful I knew how to administer CPR on that day in 2021, alongside the help of Dr Tobin and the team. Charlie’s story had a happy ending and its; greta to see him back playing but that’s only possible thanks to CPR. I’d encourage everyone to take the time to learn it - it’s a vital skill and never know you might just help save someone’s life.”

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, chief executive at British Heart Foundation, said: “Charlie and Leam’s story is a powerful reminder that CPR saves lives. These lifesaving skills really can be the difference between life and death.”

There are more than 30,000 out-of-hospital cardiac arrests in the UK each year, equating to around five every 90 minutes. Each minute that passes without CPR reduces the chance of survival by up to ten per cent.

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

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