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Defibrillator bid by NI fans after death of supporter Gary Hughes


Gary Hughes

Gary Hughes

Gary Hughes

NORTHERN Ireland fans are set to fund life saving defibrillators near Windsor Park following the untimely death of 58-year-old loyal supporter Gary Hughes.

The Lisburn man, whose son Stuart is a UUP councillor on Lisburn and Castlereagh council, was in a bar near the National Stadium last Monday night ahead of Northern Ireland’s World Cup qualifier against Italy.

He collapsed and sadly died despite the best efforts to resuscitate him, and his son announced his father’s passing on social media the following day.

“Very tragically my dad passed away suddenly last night just before the NI game versus Italy”, wrote Stuart Hughes.

“Thanks to everyone who has passed on their sympathies and those who tried to save him last night. It puts so much into perspective.”

The Amalgamation of Northern Ireland Supporters Clubs (AoNISC) tweeted condolences to the family on Tuesday and at an Irish FA Council meeting at Windsor Park on Wednesday night, representative Gary McAllister said the fans’ group would endeavour to ensure such a tragedy didn’t happen again.

“The information we received was that the gentleman was on his way to the match and collapsed in Cuckoo, a bar on the Lisburn Road that many people would have known previously as Hunter’s”, said IFA Council member McAllister.

“Despite attempts to resuscitate him, the man passed away. 

“One of the things that was pointed out was the length of time that it took to get a defibrillator to the scene, it actually took 25 minutes.

“So we may do something as a supporters’ organisation to raise some money to put a defibrillator in place there.

“Unfortunately, it won’t help the gentleman who passed away, but it might save a life at some stage in the future. It was a very sad occurrence.”

The Irish FA President Conrad Kirkwood said the association would also like to help, either by financing the cost of installing a defibrillator or aid with other aspects.

“It’s very much in the community in and around our ground (Windsor Park)”, said Kirkwood at the Wednesday night meeting.

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