Charlie Edinburgh ‘very humbled’ by lifesaving impact of cardiac arrest charity

The Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation visited numerous professional academies during the 2023-24 season to run CPR and defibrillator workshops.

The Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation, helped set up by Justin’s son Charlie, has directly saved the lives of two individuals
The Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation, helped set up by Justin’s son Charlie, has directly saved the lives of two individuals (Joe Giddens/PA)

Saturday marks the fifth anniversary of Justin Edinburgh’s death and his son Charlie is proud of the work the foundation set up in his honour has achieved in creating a new generation of lifesavers.

Former Tottenham full-back Edinburgh died in 2019 at the age of 49 after he suffered a cardiac arrest during a workout at a gym in Chelmsford.

With no defibrillator on site, Edinburgh was taken to a nearby hospital before his death was confirmed days later on June 8, a matter of weeks after he masterminded Leyton Orient’s promotion back to Sky Bet League Two.

Edinburgh’s son Charlie helped set up the Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation to continue his dad’s legacy and five years later the charity has directly saved the lives of two individuals through the numerous defibrillators it has donated, alongside running CPR (cardiopulmonary resuscitation) training sessions.

“Had this not happened to dad, I would not have the knowledge or skill set that I have and now it is about continuing to raise awareness and creating that next generation of lifesavers,” Edinburgh told the PA news agency.

“We said from the first moment we set the charity up, if we could make sure one family would not have to go through what we have been through, it would mean everything.

“Fast forward to the five-year milestone now and with what we’ve been able to achieve, it is very satisfying.

“It is very humbling but also rewarding because there is no greater feeling than knowing you’ve been able to contribute to saving someone’s life.”

Since Edinburgh’s death there have been several high-profile examples of footballers who suffered cardiac arrests but survived with the intervention of CPR or a defibrillator, with Christian Eriksen and Tom Lockyer notable cases.

Lockyer has been vocal in his efforts to get more people to learn CPR and defibrillator skills, which is exactly what the JE3 Foundation offers and the charity has been in touch with Luton captain Lockyer about working together.

Over the past season the JE3 Foundation visited several professional academies, which include Tottenham and Orient, to put on CPR and defibrillator workshops, while defibrillators were donated to Essex CCC, Walthamstow FC and Brentwood Town FC among other organisations.

To mark Saturday’s fifth anniversary, the JE3 Foundation will run a Justin Resuscitation Remembrance event at Grange Farm Lane in Chigwell, where CPR and defibrillator skill sessions will be put on throughout the day.

Edinburgh added: “We thought about how can we mark such a significant milestone and I don’t think there is any better way than passing on the lifesaving skills that someone should need to save a loved one or a member of the public.

“That is unfortunately what dad didn’t have, but he was all about passing on any wisdom or experiences he had from his career and his life to improve other people.

“If we can continue to do that with Saturday’s event and educate and train as many people that attend, I am sure that is something he would be extremely proud of happening on his anniversary.”

In a week’s time Euro 2024 will be under way, which provides another reminder of how a cardiac arrest does not always have an unhappy ending.

Manchester United playmaker Eriksen collapsed during the tournament three years ago after he suffered a cardiac arrest, but the use of a defibrillator saved his life and he will feature for Denmark this summer.

“For Christian, it is very brave but also remarkable that he will be back playing in another major tournament,” Edinburgh reflected.

“And it doesn’t matter how fit you are, cardiac arrests take no prisoners.

“So I think as long as we can continue doing what we’re doing in dad’s name to spread the message, then hopefully the survival figure we’ve got of two can increase over the years and there will be a lot more people able to tell their story because of the work the Justin Edinburgh 3 Foundation are doing.”