Sports Gazette

by sports journalism students at St Mary's University, London

Brentford to offer free heart screenings to fans

Posted on 13 April 2022 by Charlie Pizey

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Brentford have announced that the club will be offering free heart screenings to fans aged 14-35 on Saturday 30th April and Sunday 1st May.

The decision is being made in memory of the club’s former technical director Robert Rowan who died in November 2018 following a fatal cardiomyopathy episode.

The sessions will be carried out by Cardiac Risk in the Youth in association with the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust and will take place at Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub.

Mr Rowan’s wife Suzanne has organised the screenings and remains closely linked with the club.

She said: “Screenings can dramatically reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac deaths. I encourage eligible Brentford fans to book in for one of the sessions available if they can.

  “If we can make the difference to just one family, the fundraising efforts will be all worthwhile.”  

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In the UK 12 young people die every week from undiagnosed heart conditions, and 80% of young cardiac deaths have no prior symptoms.

These screenings will allow young people to find out about their heart health before something goes wrong.

Jon Varney, chief executive of Brentford, said: “Robert’s memory lives on at Brentford. He made a huge personal and professional contribution to the Club and to our colleagues.

“Now, his contribution, and the contributions from all those who have donated, will be felt across the Brentford community.”

 

The funds for this initiative were raised in memory Mr Rowan’s and there have been a few noteworthy contributors.

Neil Grieg, Head of Medical, and James Purdue, Head of B Team Athletic Performance, raised over £30,000 running the Manchester and London Marathons respectively.

The Brentford Lifeline Society have also provided financial support.

Eligible fans have been emailed with the details how to register ahead of the deadline on the 19th April.

Suzanne Rowan will be organising additional screenings in conjunction with Cardiac Risk in Youth in Kirkcaldy, Fife and in Dundee throughout the rest of the year.