Cherries captain Steve Cook has paid for non-league club Hollington United to receive a defibrillator to help protect players and the public at the community side.
Based just to the north of Cook’s hometown of Hastings, the Mid-Sussex Football League team are close to the AFC Bournemouth man’s heart with connections to both his friends and family.
After the shock of Christian Eriksen’s collapse following a cardiac arrest on Saturday during Denmark’s Euro 2020 match with Finland, the club had put out a call for local businesses to donate towards the life-saving piece of equipment.
Cook is heavily involved in the football scene in the area and is also academy ambassador at Hastings United.
Following the non-league side’s announcement of the donation from Cook, the defender explained: “It’s a club that I’ve known for a long time, my mum was brought up in Hollington, it’s a small place in Hastings and my friends play for them.
“I saw on Twitter that they were after one so it was a no-brainer for me to put myself forward and contribute because I feel that every non-league club throughout the country and worldwide should have this bit of equipment because it’s so important.”
My pleasure. Such an important piece of equipment that every club should have 🙏🏽 https://t.co/CI7SSsZeED— Steve Cook (@SteveCook28) June 16, 2021
After his worrying injury, Eriksen is now in a stable condition in a hospital in Copenhagen, with Cook going on to speak about the essential nature of making sure football clubs big and small are ready should such an emergency occur.
“In this world we’re quite reactive rather than proactive,” he said. “I feel with the defribs that you’ve got to have the knowledge of how to use them and with first aid courses maybe we need to do these more.
“The way the Danish captain acted saved Christian Eriksen’s life because he knew the procedures to go through.
“We need to be more proactive, we’re a country that’s meant to be very forward thinking so rather than being reactive to an incredibly awful thing to see we need to be ahead of the game and have these things put in place.”
Speaking to BBC Radio Solent, Hollington United's Scott Price expanded: "If it can happen to someone like Christian Eriksen, who is in the prime of his career, it can happen to anyone.
"It will be open to the community, and not just available for when there is a game on. We can't thank Cooky enough really.
"He's a Hastings lad. He grew up not far from where the ground is, and he realises how much we do for the community. It is a massive gesture."