In November 2018, the Club were devastated to learn of the death of Technical Director Robert Rowan due to a fatal cardiomyopathy episode.
On Saturday 21 September, we welcome members of Robert’s family and his friends to Griffin Park as together we continue to raise awareness of cardiomyopathy as well as promote the screening and research conducted by Cardiac Risk in the Young (CRY).
Every week in the UK at least 12 young people die of undiagnosed heart conditions. Since its formation in 1995, CRY has been working to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death (YSCD). CRY supports young people diagnosed with potentially life-threatening cardiac conditions and offers bereavement support to families affected by YSCD.
CRY promotes and develops heart screening programmes and funds medical research. It publishes and distributes medical information written by leading cardiologists for the general public. CRY also funds specialist referral, screening and cardiac pathology services at leading UK hospitals.
As part of the Brentford SportsFEST event on Sunday 12 May 2019, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust hosted a special heart screening with the charity. Held at the Hilton Syon Park, more than 80 young people benefited from the heart screening and no cardiac abnormalities were detected among the people screened.
Every week in the UK, around 12 young people (under the age of 35) die suddenly from a previously undiagnosed heart condition. 80 per cent of these deaths will occur with no prior symptoms.
Before the Stoke City fixture, CRY gives thanks to the volunteers who will be outside the ground shaking buckets and collecting cash for the cause.
Robert’s wife, Suzanne, said:
“Looking back, I think Robert was really brave about his condition. He didn’t like a fuss and he didn’t like to talk about it because he didn’t fully understand it himself. I wanted to tell him it was all going to be okay because that’s what I genuinely believed.
“It’s important we talk; heart conditions aren’t as uncommon as people might like to think. Raising awareness for CRY and making people aware that they can be checked out is really important.”
For more information on CRY, click here.
Ahead of CRY’s fundraising efforts on Saturday, Brentford FC travelled to Robert’s hometown of Kirkaldy, Scotland, to visit his family and friends. Watch our documentary on Robert’s life and legacy below.