Former Premier League and Wales international footballer Vinnie Jones has reunited with the British Heart Foundation to call on everyone in the United Kingdom to learn cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) and help save lives, following the events that have shaken the footballing world during the last week.

Jones has recorded a 40-second advert for the nation’s heart charity, which aired during Thursday’s pre-match coverage of the UEFA European Championships fixture between Denmark vs Belgium on ITV after Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed while in action against Finland last weekend.

The advert reunited Jones with the British Heart Foundation (BHF), following his starring role in 2012’s “Hands-Only CPR” campaign, which the charity says has led to countless lives being saved.

In the original ad, Vinnie urged people to “Call 999” and perform CPR by pushing “hard and fast to Stayin’ Alive” if they saw someone suffer a cardiac arrest.

Latest figures shows that less than one in ten people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest in the UK, and every minute without CPR and defibrillation decreases a person’s chances of survival by up to 10 per cent.

However, the British Heart Foundation says that in countries where CPR is widely taught and public access defibrillators are more readily available, survival rates are up to three times as high.

The charity is one of many organisations working to improve the United Kingdom’s out of hospital cardiac arrest survival rate to 25%, as set out in the NHS’s long-term plan.

Following the football events that shook the world last weekend, the British Heart Foundation has seen more than a 2,000 per cent increase in people visiting its website to learn CPR and find out how to use a defibrillator. The charity’s website offers video tuition on these life-saving skills.

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, Chief Executive at the British Heart Foundation, said: “The shocking events of last weekend have touched so many people around the world. There is no doubt that CPR and the use of a defibrillator saved a life. But today the tragic reality is that less than one in ten people survive an out of hospital cardiac arrest and far too many people lack the confidence to perform life-saving CPR.

“We’re delighted to join forces with Vinnie again to urge people to take just a few minutes, right now, to learn lifesaving CPR. The most important thing to remember is that you must act when someone suffers a cardiac arrest. Call 999, start CPR immediately, and ask someone to bring the nearest defibrillator if one is close by.

“The sad truth is that you’re most likely to see a loved one suffer a cardiac arrest. But by creating a nation of lifesavers, with the confidence to perform CPR and use a defibrillator, we can save countless lives of loved ones.”

The charity has campaigned for many years to create a ‘Nation of Lifesavers’, with the skills and confidence to perform CPR if someone suffers a cardiac arrest. Learning CPR is now on the secondary school curriculum in England and Wales, and all 32 local authorities in Scotland have committed to training all pupils before they leave school. The charity continues to campaign for it to be a compulsory part of the curriculum in Northern Ireland.

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