The York Lokomotive Masters are hoping to purchase defibrillators for clubs across the UK after one of their players, Terry Lofthouse, fell ill during a match in the Yorkshire Masters Festival on March 12. Mr Lofthouse was saved by spectators performing CPR with the help of a defibrillator on site.
The 58-year-old said: “I cannot remember what happened as I have lost all of my memory from that week. I was told [players] Lee Slater performed CPR on me then David McCabe used the defibrillator, they saved me.
“All I can say is thank you, and that seems such a little word to use.”
Mr Lofthouse was transferred to Leeds General Infirmary by air ambulance and had emergency surgery on the same night.
His team have since launched a page on the JustGiving website to purchase their own defibrillator and support other clubs.
Jade Orchard, who set up the page, said: “With everyone’s generous donations we can make sure we are well equipped and prepared to deal with medical emergencies like what happened to Terry.”
The page has so far raised 83 per cent of its £1,500 target since being set up.
Following the incident Frank Slater, team coordinator of 6TK Methley Warriors Masters, said it was vital that clubs had access to this life-saving equipment.
He said clubs can access defibrillators in a range of ways, including the Danny Jones Defibrillator Fund, which has been raising money for rugby league clubs across the UK.
Mr Slater added that first aiders wouldn’t have been able to save Mr Lofthouse without the defibrillator.
He said: “We need to get as many clubs as possible to realise the seriousness of the situation.”
Mr Lofthouse, who is recovering at home, added: “I think it’s down to each club to do their own thing, if someone could put a big charity event together that would be great but it is each club’s responsibility to get the right equipment for the people that play for them.
“I’m so grateful to everyone who has donated, to reach the target or over would be amazing.”
As part of the RFL Benevolent fund, which supports people who have been injured while playing rugby or football, Lizzie Jones created a JustGiving page in honour of her late husband.
Danny Jones was a Keighley Cougars and Wales international half-back who collapsed and died from an undiagnosed heart condition while playing against London Skolars in May 2015.
Ms Jones said: “This is my way of saying a big ‘Thank You’ to the wider Rugby League family for all they have done for me.”
Defibrillators cost around £1,000 each and provide potentially life-saving treatment to anyone suffering a cardiac arrest.
For more details of how to donate visit: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/York-Lokos-Masters