A WIGAN photographer who is a friend of footballer Fabrice Muamba has started a campaign to bring in life-saving equipment and training for young people.
Cheryl Mulqueeney, from Ashton, got to know Muamba and his fiancée Shauna after a friend married former Wanderers player Jlloyd Samuel, and she has done photoshoots for the couple.
Cheryl, who runs photography studio Captured by CAM on Old Road, is now selling some of her pictures of Muamba, with all the proceeds going towards a new charity fund she is setting up.
Muamba is still in intensive care in hospital in London after suffering a cardiac arrest and collapsing on the pitch during Bolton’s FA Cup quarter-final match against Tottenham,
His progress has been boosted by messages of support from footballers across the world, including David Beckham and the entire Barcelona team.
The fund will provide defibrillator machines for local sports clubs and CPR training for children in Wigan’s schools.
Cheryl, 31, said: “These machines are lifesavers, and I really want something good to come out of what has happened to Fabrice because he and his fiancée are friends of mine.
“I couldn’t believe it when I heard what happened to him.
“I got home from the studio and my next-door neighbour asked if I’d heard about it, and when I got in my mum was on the phone, saying he had collapsed on the pitch.
“I’m so pleased with the recovery he’s making, it’s just amazing.
“I’m now looking at getting some training in CPR for children, starting with my daughter’s school in Ashton, and I want to get local football clubs defibrillator machines as well, but to do that I will need some help.
“Gina. who works in the studio with me, still has to take her little girl to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital because she had to have open heart surgery aged six months, so it’s an issue which means so much to both of us.”
Cheryl has already received several donations for her pictures, including one from the British Heart Foundation.
However, she is very keen for Wiganers to be able to do their part as well to deliver the vital training and equipment to young people in the borough.
She said: “I want to set up something in the shop so people can contribute that way.
“I’m thinking of doing a deal where you get an extra print thrown in for £5 and the money goes to the charity, something like that.
“I said when I set up the shop that I wanted to do as much as I could for charity, and have as much of an impact in the local community as I could.”
Details of the charity fund, including a website, are still being finalised.