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					Alison Cox

Hello, thank you very much for all being here, its going to be a very informal few minutes with some speeches now. I just wanted to have my little go and say thank you all so much for coming. So many of you have come from such a long way and at very short notice and we hugely appreciate every single person here for coming to support us today. As Chief Executive of CRY this is a huge moment for us, cant say how much we owe Andy for that. I will just say a little story about Andy and the CRY All Party Parliamentary Group. Kevin Jones is here tonight and he’s our Chair of the All Party Parliamentary Group. We now have 106 people in

parliament who are members of that, that means one in six of the house knows about CRY, and at our very first meeting back in 2002 just after we’d started Kevin called a meeting and there were three people there at the meeting. There was Julian Lewis, who had kicked the whole think off, there was Kevin who was Chair, and there was Andy, and Andy had just started and so the history of Andy and CRY goes back as long as it could and I think that shows how genuine his interest is in this whole field, and its not really surprising that he has taken the opportunity of being where he is to help CRY and I really did want everybody to know that this is something that’s been going on for a very long time from Andy’s point of view. He’s a most extraordinary man and we’re enormously grateful to him. The other thing I'd like to say, and I suppose this is a bit sentimental but it means quite a lot to me, we started CRY in 1995 and we started CRY with a family that is here tonight, the Marshall family. Their son John was an international junior footballer and died suddenly. They had no idea he had a heart problem. He had signed up with Everton. If he’d lived two more weeks we were screening up in Everton, and if he’d lived two more weeks he would have been screened. And so their story is a typical one in a way of what so many of our families are here tonight have been through one way or another. There are 45 I think different people here tonight that are bereaved, and I suspect every one of them, their story is the same but its different. And I think everybody here who is not one of that group would all agree that of everybody, although we’ve got some hugely important people here tonight, I think we’d all say that the evening is about them and we hope tonight’s going to make a very big difference to what's going to happen next. Hugely grateful to the Football Foundation, the PFA and the FA for joining in this initiative with us. I'm not going to say any more because I'm going to put my foot right in it. The other person I do want to thank though is the two people that kicked off our screening programme way back when everyone said “Alison what on earth are you doing? You’re not medical, you’re messing around doing something you know nothing about”, and the two people that really did kick it off was Jeremy Bates, and we’ve got several of our patrons here tonight, we’ve got David and Jeremy and Pat and Simon and Andy Scott, so we’ve got a really good sports turnout tonight, because of course David’s ever so sporty these days aren’t you (laughter), and very grateful to them for all coming. But Jeremy actually, the way we started was two years before I started CRY in 1993, we wanted to screen in tennis because that’s my background. Spoke to Jeremy, sent a letter to every member of the top 20 in the country, and they were all at Telford for the Nationals, and he said to them “come on, you’ve got to get screened”. They all moaned and groaned and many of them were pushed into it by their coaches rather than them wanting to have it done, but Jeremy was the one who did it, he really stuck his neck

Alison Cox out doing that, and the person who then took up the baton was Dr Mike Turner who is here tonight as well, and he was really the first sport that took onboard screening and he has stayed as a flagship for us ever since. We’re really pleased now we’re going to be able to be taking it forward in the community in football and coming in not just at the elite end, which is where we have been very much involved with so many different sports, but also at the community level, and you’ll hear all about that in a moment. And thank you very much for coming, and I'm awfully sorry if I haven’t mentioned somebody important I should have but I mean to, and I just want to hand over to Andy now because he’ll do ever such a good job. Thank you. (applause)

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