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Fresh calls for defibrillators at sports clubs after player’s tragic death

23 Aug 2021 3 minute read
Alex Evans picture from the fundraising page.

There have been fresh calls for the Welsh Government to issue every sports club in Wales with a defibrillator following the death of a rugby player over the weekend.

Alex Evans, a 31-year-old flanker, was playing for Cwmllynfell RFC at Parc y Bryn in Neath Port Talbot when he suffered a cardiac arrest on Saturday afternoon.

Following an online appeal, almost £10,000 has already been raised in 24 hours for his family.

The Senedd’s Shadow Minister for Sport, Tom Giffard, said that his “tragic and untimely death” highlighted the urgent need for all sports clubs in Wales to have defibrillators.

“We have long called for these important life-saving pieces of equipment to be installed at sports clubs, and now is the time for the Welsh Labour Government to act,” the Conservative MS said.

“Defibrillators aren’t cheap, so Labour ministers needs to work with clubs and organisations across Wales and provide them with financial support.

“The Welsh Government needs to move fast because the quicker we get them put in place, the more lives we can save.”


Tributes were paid to Alex Evans after his death on Saturday, with club secretary Gareth Evans saying that he “always had a smile on his face”.

“He always had time for you and always had that smile on his face,” he told the BBC.

In a social media post, Cwmllynfell RFC said: “There are words and there are no words to describe today. We have lost a brother on the field and it is hurting so much.

“RIP Alex. The whole club and community are shocked and saddened. Fly high brother… fly high.”

The Welsh Rugby Union offered their “deepest condolences” to his family, friends and teammates. World Rugby also responded to pay tribute.

Club captain Chris Balfe described Evans as “one in a million”, writing on the club’s Facebook page: “We went out today as a team of mates and we came off the field losing a brother.

“We lost one of the boys who epitomised what Cwm was about. A fiercely loyal person who’d give it all on the field and in life. To me, Alex sums up what playing rugby is about a man who played for the badge and his mates week in week out.

“I know rugby is irrelevant in moments like this but I also know Jew loved his club and I want him and his family to know his club loved him.”

The Welsh Ambulance Service said they were called at 3pm to reports of a person needing urgent medical attention.

“We responded with one rapid response vehicle, two emergency ambulances and one vehicle from the emergency medical retrieval and transfer service,” they said.

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Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 years ago

There is a defibrillator at the ground and trying to have a go at “Welsh Labour” is distasteful.
If Mr Giffard has an ounce of humanity he should now contact Hearts Wales and offer to buy them a public access defib. He can afford it on his wages and expenses.

Shan Morgain
2 years ago

Cardiac arrest strikes out of the blue and hits the fit and healthy. My husband woke one morning said he loved me as usual, and died on the pillow. If I hadn’t known resuscitation I’d have been a widow all these 25 years since. Learn how to do it so you can save those you love. //// But disgraceful this Tory is attacking a club for the death of a player, supposedly because they don’t have a defibrillator – when actually they do have one. Sometimes Tories are nasty and sometimes stupid, not much difference in the effects.

2 years ago

Trasiedi ofnadwy ac yntau’n ddyn â’i holl fywyd o’i flaen.
Trist iawn.
Gobeithio gwelwn ni gyfarpar addas ym mhob clwb chwaraeon cyn bo hir.

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