A LIFE-SAVING defibrillator has been installed in memory of a long-time Barnsley FC shirt sponsor from Shafton who died of a heart attack at the age of 48.

Father-of-two Kevin Beckett, who was the joint owner of dismantling firm CK Beckett, died on July 19, 2017, days after returning to Barnsley from a golfing trip to Portugal.

Kevin, formerly of Park View, Shafton, was a popular figure in the village and was well-known for his generous donations towards its Christmas lights and community events.

Scores of people turned out for his funeral, which was held at St John’s Church in Cudworth, while Reds fans held a poignant minute’s applause in the 48th minute in the first home game after his death at his beloved Oakwell.

A team from Shafton Working Men’s Club, spearheaded by parish councillor Peter Makinson, set about a fundraising project in order to have the device available to anyone. It gives a high-energy electric shock to the heart in the event of a cardiac arrest.

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It’s been installed outside the venue, on High Street, and was unveiled by Kevin’s sister, Katrina Beckett, and nephew Jamie Hancock on Tuesday.

Peter said: “It’s worth its weight in gold - if it helps to save one life it’s done its job and it’s the first in the village that’s accessible to everyone.

“We’ve done a lot to raise the money needed for it including charity events at the club, but we also had a donation of £635 from the North East Ward Alliance which helped a lot towards the overall cost, which was about £1,900.

“Kevin was a popular figure in Shafton and we felt it was appropriate to dedicate the defibrillator to his memory, especially given how much he’s done for the village over the years. We also bought a plaque for Kevin, which has been fitted alongside.”

Training on how to use the device will be given to anyone wanting to know more at an event at the club on July 20, which starts at 10am.

Katrina told the Chronicle the family were ‘touched’ by the community’s response to her brother’s untimely death.

“We received so many messages from people at the time and I’m choked by just how well thought of he was,” she added. “He was the most generous guy in every single way. He just gave and didn’t expect back.

“He was a ‘give something back to the community’ kind of person. Any charitable opportunities he would always be there and support where he could.

“Shafton meant a lot to him and he was a real people’s person, so having this in his memory is amazing.”