The entire first team of Harrogate Town Football Club is ensuring match fitness as they enter the National League by having players’ hearts checked at the town’s private hospital.
All 25 players were strapped up to the specialist heart monitor to check their circulatory systems as part of the club’s ongoing commitment to health and fitness.
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The importance of the checks are especially poignant for midfielder Jack Emmett, who lost not only his twin brother Alex but also his university friend Dan to heart attacks at an early age. Alex, a diabetic, suffered a cardiac arrest aged just 18. Dan, a fellow football player, had been playing for Sheffield’s Shaw Lane when he died after a heart attack on the pitch.
Losing people that close has really underlined to me the importance of health checks.
Every time I play football, this is in the back of my mind. If Dan had had an ECG that would have shown there was a problem and may have saved his life. Dan was so healthy and fit, and the last person you’d think would have a heart attack. It’s reassuring to have these scans and to know that there is nothing wrong.
Cardiologist Professor Chris Gale from BMI The Duchy Hospital said: “It’s good to see Harrogate Town Football Club working alongside BMI The Duchy to promote good heart health in this way. The emphasis they are placing on ensuring the health of their players is a good example of how we can all look after ourselves and each other.”
First team manager Simon Weaver said:
We’ve a lot of young men with young families; we need to make sure that they are safe and to know that we care about them. The Duchy has been great – for example we had a player with an ankle injury not long ago and he was in and x-rayed within 20 minutes. It’s that level of care that we can provide to the players, in conjunction with The Duchy Hospital, that makes a difference.