Resuscitation Council (UK)

Swans take flight with new defibrillator programme

Local footballer Joseph Mitchell was only 33 when he tragically died at Mynydd Newydd Playing fields while playing for Swansea Senior League side St Josephs.

His loss was felt throughout the Swansea community - and left Premier League football club Swansea City determined to do what they could to prevent a future tragedy from occurring.

As a result, Swansea City are working to save future lives by rolling out a defibrillator programme throughout the Swansea Leagues and raising awareness for the life-saving devices.

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“Everyone at Swansea City was saddened to hear of Mitchell’s death,” explained a Swans spokesperson.

“There is a very close football community in Swansea and the loss has been deeply felt by so many people.

“The club not only wanted to help his friends and team-mates raise funds for his family and fiancée, but also to do something that may help save a life in the future.

“We felt the defibrillator programme was the best place to start in memory of Mitchell.’’

Swansea City launched their defibrillator campaign with a fundraising drive at their league home game against Liverpool. Mitchell’s friends and teammates carried out a bucket collection around the stadium to raise money for his family and fiance, with Swansea pledging to match all the funds raised and put them towards purchases of defibrillators at the main playing fields in the Swansea League. 

But that’s not the only way the Premier League side are contributing to providing more defibrillators through the Swansea Leagues and local football leagues in the area. The team have set themselves a unique challenge to boost the number of defibrillators installed - by pledging to provide one new defibrillator for every goal their senior team score between the campaign launch and the close of the 2017/18 season in May. 

Swansea City football club 1

In an incredible surge of form for the Swans, they are off to a flying start to deliver on their promise! 

They kicked off their pledge by scoring four goals against two very tough opponents - and followed on by scoring an incredible 10 goals in their next few games, including 8 in their FA Cup romp against Notts County. With their goals and funds raised, the Swans are currently providing 28 new defibrillators - and the season is a long way from over.

It’s a bright start, but the Welsh club know there’s more work to be done. They are planning a defibrillator awareness night in the next month to ensure all their fans know about the pledge and that they feel confident to use the defibrillators, should the need arise.

Swansea will review their defibrillator programme during the summer and assess the future needs of the local leagues to make sure they continue to have access to crucial life-saving equipment. 

  • When someone has a cardiac arrest, every minute without CPR and defibrillation reduces their chances of survival by 7-10% (1)  
  • AEDs are known to drastically boost survival rates of out-of-hospital cardiac arrests. 
  • Defibrillation within 3–5 min can produce survival rates as high as 50%–70%. (2) 
  • Anyone can perform CPR and use a defibrillator, even if you haven’t had training. Ambulance dispatchers are able to give telephone instructions to help undertake chest compressions at the scene, and if you turn on a defibrillator it will tell you what to do.


This excellent initiative will ensure that any future emergencies are given the best chance of a happy ending - and provide an excellent and meaningful tribute and legacy in honour of much-missed Swansea League player Mitchell Joseph.  

Learn more about their initiative - and their 8 goal FA Cup triumph here.  


(1) 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. 

Larsen MP, Eisenberg MS, Cummins RO et al. Predicting survival from out-of-hospital cardiac arrest: a graphic model. Ann Emerg Med 1993; 22:1652-8. 

(2) ↵ Valenzuela TD, 2. Roe DJ, 3. Nichol G, et al : Outcomes of Rapid Defibrillation by Security Officers after Cardiac Arrest in Casinos. N Engl J Med 2000;343:1206–9. doi:10.1056/NEJM200010263431701  CrossRefPubMedWeb of ScienceGoogle Scholar 

↵ 1. Blom MT, 2. Beesems SG, 3. Homma PC, et al :  Improved survival after out-of-hospital cardiac arrest and use of automated external defibrillators. Circulation 2014;130:1868–75. doi:10.1161/CIRCULATIONAHA.114.010905   Abstract/FREE Full TextGoogle Scholar 

↵ 1. Ringh M, 2. Rosenqvist M, 3. Hollenberg J, et al : Mobile-phone dispatch of laypersons for CPR in out-of-hospital cardiac arrest. N Engl J Med 2015;372:2316–25. doi:10.1056/NEJMoa1406038  CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar 

All images © Swansea City AFC 2018
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