A YOUTH football coach has successfully raised more than £1,000 to buy Highworth Town Juniors a defibrillator.

Neil Tustin started fundraising in memory of his dad, Will, who died at the age of 71 after suffering a cardiac arrest last year. Neil has now netted £1,400 for the lifesaving equipment which, will be installed outside the clubhouse at The Elms.

Neil said: “The fundraising went really well.

"It started with just a bucket at the food kiosk during games, then we held a disco for the children.

“Quite a few kids and their parents chipped in. It went brilliantly. There’s even a little left over to go to the club.

“Dad would have been really proud. Everyone has been fantastic.

“All my friends have been very supportive and the under-12s and 7s team have donated a lot of money. The club committee have been wonderful as well.”

Will used to paint the lines for the teams before matchdays. That is a job Neil has continued to perform alongside the fundraising and his main job as a team coach.

As well as the various donations from families and members of the Highworth Juniors committee, one parent who works for a pharmaceutical company has offered to provide the defibrillator for a cheaper price than it would normally cost.

He added: “It could save a life. The whole idea is that it will be outside the club so you don’t need access to the club to get to it.

“The club is like an extra family to me, it means so much that we’ve been able to do this.”

Neil is hoping that the defibrillator will be in place on the wall outside the clubhouse for the start of summer training in March.

The club is open over the weekend and already has a defibrillator inside but with some teams training during the week, the new defibrillator will provide mean the safety equipment is available all day, every day.

When Neil started fundraising back in October, he said: “It makes me feel close to my dad. I adore this club, it’s like a family.

“I want the extra defibrillator so that everyone can use it. I’m more aware of it now.

“I appreciate every penny and it’s a great cause. It could save a life in the future.”

The fundraising doesn’t stop here for Neil as he is currently training to tackle the Three Peaks in June to raise more money for the British Heart Foundation.

Neil added: “I’m going to continue to fundraise in my dad's honour and memory.”