Two social clubs get defibrillators after death of snooker player

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TWO social clubs have raised cash to buy defibrillators in memory of a snooker fan who died after suffering a cardiac arrest.

The Railway Club in Great Lever teamed up with Farnworth and Kearsley Labour Club to raise £3,700 for Bolton ICD Support Group. The clubs helped raise funds for Les Openshaw who collapsed when playing a league match at St Mary’s Social and Recreation Club in Horwich.

The 85-year-old, of Heron Avenue, Farnworth, was resuscitated by two members of staff using a defibrillator that had been installed just a week ealier, before paramedics arrived, but he died nine days later. Tracey Wilkinson, fund-raising manager for Bolton ICD, said she was delighted with the five defibrillators. She said: “It’s massively important that these clubs have defibrillators. It was thanks to a defibrillator that Les’s family got to say goodbye to him.”

David Openshaw, aged 54, son of Les, paid tribute to all those who helped raise money for Bolton ICD. David, of Heaton, said: “I’m immensely pleased. It’s been a fantastic effort by a lot of people. The list of people I’d like to thank is endless. It’s very important that people get behind charities like Bolton ICD.”

Of the final figure raised, £1,400 has been spent on defibrillators for both clubs, while a further £700 will go towards a defibrillator at Plodder Lane Conservative Club in Farnworth. The remaining money will go into Bolton ICD’s #Defibs4Bolton campaign, which is aimed at getting more defibrillators installed in schools and sports clubs.

The Railway Club raised about £2,500 of the final figure by holding a 24-hour snooker marathon and a comedy and cabaret night. Farnworth and Kearsley Labour Club raised the other £1,000. Bolton ICD recently raised about £20,000, which is enough to buy defibrillators for the 28 schools and sports clubs on its waiting list for funding.

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