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Heart attack victim Gallacher plans defibrillator campaign

By Tony Jimenez

LONDON (Reuters) - Former Ryder Cup captain Bernard Gallacher wants more defibrillators available on British golf courses after suffering a heart attack while on an engagement in his native Scotland in August.

The 64-year-old is now on the road to recovery and making plans to lead a campaign for defibrillators to be widely available at courses.

"While undertaking an engagement for a corporate client in Aberdeen, Bernard was taken ill and spent 15 days under the excellent care of medical staff in Aberdeen, seven days of which were in intensive care," his management team said in a statement on Tuesday.

"Bernard went into cardiac arrest on three occasions. Thanks to the composed and quick thinking of staff and guests at the engagement, as well as quick access to a defibrillator, Bernard is on his way to a full recovery with no long term effects expected.

"The availability of a defibrillator was central in giving Bernard a chance of survival and, along with his wife Lesley and the support of the PGA and European Tour, he will be championing a campaign to make defibrillators widely accessible at golf courses around the UK."

The Scot captained Europe's Ryder Cup team in 1991, 1993 and 1995, losing the first two matches before finally leading his side to victory over the United States at Oak Hill Country Club in New York.

Gallacher, one of the leading players on the tour in the 1970s and 1980s, won 13 times in Europe and on eight occasions elsewhere.

In 1969 he became the youngest golfer to represent the then Britain and Ireland team in the Ryder Cup, a record that has since been eclipsed by Nick Faldo, Paul Way and Sergio Garcia.

Gallacher went on to compete in eight Ryder Cups as a player.

(Editing by John Mehaffey)

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