Brentford Heart Screening


Thomas Frank and Robert Rowan
  • Fans aged 14-35 can register for a heart screening backed by funds raised in memory of Robert Rowan

A weekend of heart screenings has been organised for young Brentford fans in memory of the Club’s former Technical Director Robert Rowan. Brentford fans aged between 14 and 35 years old have the opportunity to book one of 200 places available at the cardiac screening sessions which will take place at Gunnersbury Park Sports Hub on Saturday 30 April and Sunday 1 May.

The sessions will be carried out by the charity Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY) in association with the Brentford FC Community Sports Trust. CRY aim to prevent young sudden cardiac deaths through awareness, screening and research, and supporting affected families.

Every week in the UK at least 12 young people die of undiagnosed heart conditions. In 80% of cases of young sudden cardiac death there are no prior symptoms of a heart defect.

Robert’s memorial fund was set up following his sudden passing at the age of 28 on Monday, 12 November 2018. The fund has been supported by a host of fundraising activities including the efforts of the Club’s Head of Medical, Neil Greig and James Purdue, Head of B Team Athletic Performance who ran the Manchester and London marathons respectively last year, raising over £30,000 from donations from Brentford fans, staff and players.

The Brentford Lifeline Society have also provided financial support for this initiative. It follows the Society’s recent purchase of two defibrillators and a LUCAS machine which affords uninterrupted automatic chest compressions during CPR. These items are already available for use at both the Brentford Community Stadium on matchdays and the Club’s training ground.  

Eligible fans have been emailed with instructions on how to register ahead of the 12pm deadline on Tuesday 19 April.

Robert’s wife, Suzanne Rowan, has organised the screenings and remains a close friend of the Club. Suzanne said: “The work CRY do is so important in raising awareness of sudden cardiac deaths and supporting those affected. We are so thankful to everyone who has donated to Robert’s fund which has helped to support CRY’s heart screening events.

“Screenings can dramatically reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac deaths. I encourage eligible Brentford fans to book in for one of the sessions available if they can.

“If we can make the difference to just one family, the fundraising efforts will be all worthwhile.”

Jon Varney, Chief Executive of Brentford FC said: “Robert’s memory lives on at Brentford. He made a huge personal and professional contribution to the Club and to our colleagues. Now, his contribution, and the contributions from all those who have donated, will be felt across the Brentford community.”

Note: I know this is not a typical “The Shirt” post but as as somebody who has just come out of hospital after a cardiac arrest, it is a subject close to me. I commend this initiative.


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