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Football coach launches charity to buy defibrillators  

6 December 2016 

Openreach manager Martin Holmes was devastated after a member of the boys’ football team he coaches collapsed in training and died.

Martin and other coaches battled to revive 13-year-old Kieran McDade, but he passed away in hospital.

Kieran, a midfielder with Dunbeth under-14s in Coatbridge, Scotland, suffered a cardiac arrest. Martin says he could have been saved if the club had been equipped with a defibrillator.

Since the tragedy in August, local businesses have donated two defibrillators. And now Martin has launched a charity in Kieran’s memory to raise funds to equip more football clubs in the area.

Martin, who has been with Dunbeth for 17 years, says: “The Kieran McDade Foundation is dedicated to buying as many defibrillators as possible. Each one costs £1,000. We don’t want this to happen to another young child.

Kieran with his dad Bernie

“Kieran had a minor heart valve issue but was able to play sport. His death came out of the blue. He was a quiet, football mad, happy-go-lucky boy and we all miss him.

“The last photo of Kieran with his dad Bernie was taken in the Aviva Stadium, Dublin, where they watched Celtic play Barcelona in a pre-season tournament. Three other coaches will join me next summer in a sponsored cycle ride from Coatbridge to Dublin to raise funds for the foundation.”

Martin has also helped raise more than £19,000 for Kieran’s family through donations. And he organised a charity football match and a music and comedy concert to raise £16,000 for two hospitals that treated Kieran.

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Find out how you can make a donation to the Kieran McDade Foundation