Charity urges Hammers to take advantage of free CPR training after fan’s matchday collapse

For immediate release

London, UK - A popular pre-match event near the London Stadium took a tragic turn when West Ham fan Danny Bygraves suffered a sudden cardiac arrest in October 2019. Now, West Ham fans are tackling sudden cardiac arrest by teaching others how to make the greatest save of their lives.

West Ham fan Danny collapsed and stopped breathing at the popular Hammers Chat event in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park shortly before kick-off in West Ham’s Premier League match against Crystal Palace. Fortunately, a few event guests knew what to do in an emergency. They called 999 and performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) until the Ambulance services arrived. He was then shocked him with a defibrillator and began breathing again. 

Sadly, after a week in the hospital, Danny passed away - but Hammers Chat are determined that his death shall not be in vain.

They have since fundraised for, and installed, an accessible defibrillator in their event space at the Lee & Stort Boat Company docks in the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park so that anyone in the community can use it in an emergency to restart someone’s heart. 

Before the West Ham-Everton Premier League match on 18 January 2020, the charity Resuscitation Council UK will be providing free CPR and defibrillator sessions at the Hammers Chat pre-match event to ensure as many supporters as possible have the opportunity to learn how to save a life, an event supported by West Ham United Football Club. 

When someone collapses and stops breathing, CPR provides their best chance of survival. In the UK there are over 30,000 cardiac arrests a year outside of hospital where the emergency medical services attempt to resuscitate the victim.1 Fewer than 1 in 10 people survive an out-of-hospital cardiac arrest in the UK.2 When someone has a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 7-10%3 but the chance of survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest can treble by the immediate provision of bystander CPR.4

Although Danny did not survive long enough to go home from the hospital, the CPR he received bought him valuable ‘extra time’ with his family. As a result, his wife has said she is “so grateful to everyone for keeping him alive so the family could say their farewells.”

Dr James Cant, CEO of the Resuscitation Council UK said:

“Initiatives to engage and empower football fans with the simple skills needed to save a life will make a difference when it comes to surviving a sudden cardiac arrest, and we thank West Ham United for their support with this important event. Danny had his best chance thanks to the CPR he was selflessly given, and our great gratitude goes to those who enabled his family to say their goodbyes.”

Those interested in attending training can visit Hammers Chat and Lee & Stort Boat Co between 12:00 - 1:30 pm on Saturday 18 January, located on the canal next to London Aquatics Centre, Stratford Waterfront Pontoon, STRATFORD, E20 2ST. Tickets are available from Eventbrite.

Those not attending the event can still learn CPR free online by playing Resuscitation Council UK’s award-winning Lifesaver training game:


Notes to editor

Cardiac arrest occurs when the heart stops pumping blood around the body, and causes a person to collapse and stop breathing. Survival rates from out of hospital cardiac arrest remain stubbornly low in the UK, with fewer than one in ten people surviving.If CPR were more widely taught, thousands of lives could be saved every year. (Resuscitation to Recovery)

About Resuscitation Council UK

Resuscitation Council UK is saving lives by developing guidelines, influencing policy, delivering courses and supporting cutting-edge research. Through education, training and research, we’re working towards the day when everyone in the country has the skills they need to save a life.

Press Contact: Emily Pulham, Communications Manager, Resuscitation Council UK 07506374945 :

1. We Fight for every Heartbeat, Our Strategy to 2020, British Heart Foundation, 2014
2. Resuscitation to Recovery
3. Holmberg M, Holmberg S, Herlitz J. Incidence, duration and survival of ventricular fibrillation in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest patients in Sweden. Resuscitation 2000; 44:7-17. 
4. Resuscitation to Recovery