'Give young footballers heart tests'

A campaign launched by a mother whose young footballing son died from a heart attack, has been backed by her MP.

Dionne Young launched a battle for the introduction of routine screening of youths in sport, after son, Daniel, suffered a fatal heart attack.

The 16-year-old footballer collapsed on the pitch just minutes after scoring a goal in his debut performance for a team in Atherton two years ago this week.

He was outwardly healthy, but suffered from an enlarged heart, which was only diagnosed after his death.

Mrs Young believes lives could be saved in future with a programme to screen all young sports players.

She has been backed by former health secretary, Mr Burnham – now Chief Secretary to the Treasury – whop called a meeting between representatives of the Football Association, the Football Foundation, Cry (Cardiac Risk in the Young), the Professional Footballers’ Association, and Professor Roger Boyle who is the National Clinical Director for Heart Disease.

Mr Burnham said: “Sadly so many young people die playing football. We are exploring all issues and looking at ways of how further tragedies could be prevented.”

Bolton Wanderers fan Daniel, a former pupil of Fred Longworth High School in Tyldesley, was playing in a match against Bolton Lads Club at Tyldesley Rugby Club when he collapsed. He was taken to Bolton Royal Infirmary, where he died.

His grieving parents Dionne and Craig, of Tyldesley Road, Hindsford, set up the Daniel Young Memorial Fund. Last year they raised money to finance the cost of screening Daniel’s former team mates at a cost of £35 per player.

Mrs Young, who did not attend this week’s meeting, said: “For me it would have been too emotional. How appropriate that it should be held on the anniversary of his death. The meeting is a major breakthrough.”