The family of a promising young Liverpool footballer who died suddenly from a heart condition when he was just 16 gathered to launch a two-day health screening campaign.
The Test My Heart tour is the first free heart testing tour of England and aims to reduce the number of heart deaths of apparently fit and healthy young people.
The screenings at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk were made possible by the fundraising efforts of the Marshall family.
Their teenage son John died from a heart condition in 1995.
John Marshall was an Everton youth team footballer and junior international, playing 12 times for England.
He was due to start his professional football career the day after he died.
Among those attending yesterday’s event to show his support was Everton FC player Leon Osman.
John’s sister Hayley, 23, said: “About 200 people have booked to be screened over the two days.
“It’s so important that people get their heart tested so what happened to John doesn’t happen to them.
“He was an elite athlete and was classed as one of the fittest in the country, but unknown to anyone he had this heart condition, which goes to show it can happen to the fittest and the healthiest.”
The screening at Edge Hill University, where John Marshall’s mother Maureen is a catering assistant, continues today and is part of a national tour of 12 destinations in England.
The heart testing takes place in a specially built mobile unit in the university’s car park and is open to anyone aged 14 to 35.
A doctor with a team of cardio physicians is present.
Each screening takes no more than 30 minutes.
To find out more about the testing, for details of testing locations or to book a free appointment go to http://www.testmyheart.org