EXCLUSIVE: Former England star Glenn Hoddle kicks off national blood pressure campaign in Nottingham

The football legend is working hard to increase awareness of Britain’s ‘silent killer’

Glenn Hoddle is on a mission to encourage people to get a free blood pressure check - that takes only a minute | Image Ria GheiGlenn Hoddle is on a mission to encourage people to get a free blood pressure check - that takes only a minute | Image Ria Ghei
Glenn Hoddle is on a mission to encourage people to get a free blood pressure check - that takes only a minute | Image Ria Ghei

One of England football’s most illustrious players has kicked off a national health campaign in Nottingham.

Glenn Hoddle visited The City Ground at West Bridgford yesterday (January 30) ahead of Nottingham Forest’s clash with Arsenal.

The former England manager was in town to launch Blood Pressure United - a new campaign, close to his heart.

The partnership with Well Pharmacy will see Glenn front the national health campaign, to get people (specifically football-loving blokes) to get their blood pressure checked.

Having suffered a cardiac arrest in October 2018, it is a campaign Glenn is passionate about.

Speaking exclusively to Nottingham World, Glenn said: “Blood Pressure United is a great campaign and very important for me, after what happened to me with my cardiac arrest.

Glenn Hoddle had his blood pressure taken at Well Pharmacy mobile health bus, parked at the entrance of The City Ground, West Bridgford | Image Ria GheiGlenn Hoddle had his blood pressure taken at Well Pharmacy mobile health bus, parked at the entrance of The City Ground, West Bridgford | Image Ria Ghei
Glenn Hoddle had his blood pressure taken at Well Pharmacy mobile health bus, parked at the entrance of The City Ground, West Bridgford | Image Ria Ghei

“Getting a blood pressure test could prevent people from becoming ill and even avoid fatalities.

“After my cardiac arrest, it was something that hit me and made me think ‘If I had my blood pressure done a couple of months before, it might have just flagged something up?’

“I then might not have gone through the cardiac arrest. 

“This campaign is all about prevention, so that’s why I thought what a great idea, to visit stadiums and do this and make sure that people know.”

Two simple things people can do today that could save lives

Prioritising health shouldn’t just be a yearly goal that features on people’s New Year’s resolutions list. 

Glenn says there are two simple things people can do today to help them lead a healthier life and may even save lives. 

1. Check your blood pressure with a 1-minute test

Glenn said: “Have the check-up and make sure you have your blood pressure done whether it’s today at the stadium or with your doctor.

“You can even get one of the blood pressure units at home, that’s what I’ve got.”

2. Lower salt and your blood pressure

A high salt intake can be detrimental to your diet, say NHS, charity Blood Pressure UK, and Glenn.

He said: “Look at the salt you are putting on food. Salt is a killer, it really is. It is probably more dangerous, they tell us, than sugar. So try to reduce salt, or cut it out.”

Getting a blood pressure test doesn't have to be scary

The idea of getting a blood pressure test can be off-putting to some, but Glenn believes barriers are rooted in fear.

Reflecting on the statistic that middle-aged men are among the most likely to have untreated high blood pressure, Glenn said: Some men look after their cars more than they look after their bodies.

“They’re a little bit scared, they feel a little bit of fear hearing bad news, but if it’s good news, if your blood pressure is good, then that’s great! 

“You know where you stand and you can continue with your life. If there is something there, that needs to be looked at, a blood pressure test, just for that one minute, might save your life.

“It starts with trying to erase that fear. If you can do that, with our campaign, that one-minute test, that’s all it takes.

“That one minute can save your life - isn’t it worth doing? Just one minute of your time?"

LadBaby gets blood pressure checked in Nottingham

Mark Ian Hoyle aka LadBaby was keen to get his blood pressure checked | The HoundMark Ian Hoyle aka LadBaby was keen to get his blood pressure checked | The Hound
Mark Ian Hoyle aka LadBaby was keen to get his blood pressure checked | The Hound

Scores of fans were encouraged by Glenn’s words and got their blood pressure checked.

They visited the Well Pharmacy mobile health bus at the entrance of The City Ground, where pharmacists offered free blood pressure checks. 

Amongst the footy fans was Internet celebrity LadBaby, who showed up and took the one-minute blood pressure test. 

What are the signs of high blood pressure?

According to the British Heart Foundation, high blood pressure rarely has noticeable symptoms, making it more difficult to spot. 

A quick test can help give you peace of mind and let you take the next steps to implement changes.

Glenn said: “I had to get involved with this vital campaign from Well Pharmacy, and I’m calling on all fans to roll up a sleeve and get their blood pressure checked – and badger their family members to get tested too.

 ‘I’m very concerned about the recent spate of fans taken ill at matches, so the next time someone you care about comes back home from the game, give them a hug… and tell them to get tested.

 “Believe me, if the worst were to happen, you’d wish you both had some extra time."

Glenn Hoddle on Netflix?

Glenn is using his platform to raise awareness of a public health initiative, a cause that has been close to his heart following a cardiac arrest in 2018 | Image Ria GheiGlenn is using his platform to raise awareness of a public health initiative, a cause that has been close to his heart following a cardiac arrest in 2018 | Image Ria Ghei
Glenn is using his platform to raise awareness of a public health initiative, a cause that has been close to his heart following a cardiac arrest in 2018 | Image Ria Ghei

Apart from championing a public health cause, Glenn can often be seen giving sports commentary on ITV Sports and TNT Sports.

There is certainly public appetite to see sports’ centric shows, which gives viewers a sneak peek into the lives of their heroes.

Netflix is currently streaming a number of football-focused shows featuring David Beckham, Neymar and Pelé.

When asked if he would contemplate any other appearances such as a Netflix streaming show focussed on ‘At Home With The Hoddles’ Glenn said: “That will definitely not be happening… but never say never!”