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Published: 14 Dec 2013 09:300 comments

GOLFING legend Bernard Gallacher will launch a campaign to have defibrillators widely available at golf clubs across the UK, after one saved his life.

Ascot resident Mr Gallacher suffered a cardiac arrest while giving a talk at a sports dinner at the luxury Marcliffe Hotel, in Aberdeen, in August.

It was only due to the quick-thinking of staff and guests, and the availability of a defibrillator, that he is still alive.

Mr Gallacher spent 15 days at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary, where medics had to restart his heart three times.

The 64-year-old will launch The Bernard Gallacher Defibrillator Campaign 2014 at Wentworth Golf Club on Monday.

His campaign’s aim is to encourage all golf clubs across the UK to install defibrillators so that they are accessible for other golfers who may suffer attacks.

He said: “The key to this campaign is to increase awareness of how important a defibrillator can be under the circumstances I found myself in recently.

“Without the defibrillator on hand in the Marcliffe Hotel in Aberdeen, and the quick thinking of medical people who happened to be in the room, I wouldn’t be here today.

“Cardiac arrest can happen to anyone at any time, and a lot of golfers are of an age where an attack is possible on the golf course.

“We want to do whatever it takes to raise the level of awareness of defibrillators and to get them into more clubs around the country.”

In line with his recovery Mr Gallacher has had no further corporate engagements this year, but is planning to start playing again next year.

He will also be keenly supporting the European Ryder Cup team when it returns to Gleneagles in Scotland in September.

Mr Gallacher took up golf when he was just 11 and was considered a child prodigy, going on to win the 1967 Scottish Amateur Open. He turned professional the same year and at the age of 20 became the youngest player to represent Great Britain and Ireland at the Ryder Cup.

Automatic external defibrillators give simple audio and visual commands to guide users and require no medical training to use. They cost around

£1,300 each.

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