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Angels start screening after fundraising hits £22k

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Ryman Premier Tonbridge Angels are looking forward to staging the first screening of young players for heart problems after announcing that they'd raised more than £22,000 for their Football Fightback campaign.

Launched at the start of the season following the death of Angels trialist Junior Dyan after a game at Whyteleafe in July, the scheme is aiming to raise a total of £28,000 to screen 800 players across Kent for undetected cardiac issues.

The supporter-owned club has teamed up charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (C-R-Y) to carry out the screening of players aged between 14 and 35 with the first event set to take place at the Longmead Stadium on Saturday 9 and Sunday 10 January 2016.

As well as the club's own stars and members of their families who qualify, players from the West Kent Sunday League, Tonbridge & District Football League and Tonbridge Juniors FC are all expected to attend the first screening to eradicate death through undetected cardiac issues.

The club committed to raising £28,000 to ensure young people from across the Kent could be screened in 2016 and on Saturday banked their latest corporate donation before kicking off against Burgess Hill Town.

Tonbridge Angels chairman Steve Churcher said: "Today's generous donation by AXA has brought the total raised to go over the £22,000 mark and we are absolutely delighted by that. Every contribution large or small is enormously valuable because it can make such a difference."

For more information on CRY and the charity's work promoting the prevention of sudden cardiac deaths among the young through awareness, screening and research together with the providing support for affected families, visit: www.c-r-y.org.uk.

To donate to the Football Fightback campaign visit: www.justgiving.com/footballfightback .

Defender Dian, 23, collapsed on the pitch while playing for Angels against Whyteleafe in a pre-season friendly at Church Road on Tuesday 7 July. Despite being treated at the scene by the medical teams of both clubs, he died hours later at St George's Hospital in south west London.

Awareness around the dangers of sudden cardiac arrests in football was heightened in March 2012 when former England U21 star Fabrice Muamba made a remarkable recovery after suffering a cardiac arrest while playing for Bolton Wanderers against Tottenham Hotspur in an FA Cup tie at White Hart Lane.

Only around 1 in 10 people normally survive a witnessed, out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK and the FA teamed up with the British Heart Foundation a year later to launch a £1.2m Defibrillator Fund to subsidise the costs of life-saving treatment at more than 900 Non-League clubs playing at Steps 1-6.

Instead of paying around £1000 for a defibrillator, the initiative saw clubs pay just over £300, knocking two thirds off the cost.

Source: www.isthmian.co.uk

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