Giant King Street Mural Shows Dead England Fan

Libbey Peverall features in hard hitting British Heart Foundation campaign

The mural of Libbey Peverall in Hammersmith
The mural of Libbey Peverall in Hammersmith

June 25, 2024

The large mural that appeared on a wall on King Street at the junction with Holcombe Street earlier this month features Libbey Peverall, a fervent Chelsea and England fan.

It is one of 12 artworks unveiled as part of a hard-hitting campaign by the British Heart Foundation (BHF) to highlight that 12 young people under the age of 35 are lost every week to sudden cardiac death in the UK.

The campaign was timed to coincide with the UEFA Euro 2024 competition and other murals have been painted in Belfast, Birmingham, Cardiff, Chesterfield, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Newcastle, Nottingham, and Southampton featuring young people from those areas.

Like the others featured Libbey from West Drayton died prematurely and loved her football. The mural says, “England til I died’.

She was 20 years old when she collapsed from a sudden cardiac arrest at her parent's home in February of last year. Her 31-year-old brother Charlie, who she would often go to games with, said, “I noticed I had three missed calls on my phone from my mum. I rang her back and she said, ‘I think Libbey’s had a heart attack’.

“I was still on the phone to mum when the paramedics arrived to work on Libbey. I just kept shouting, ‘Is she breathing mum?’. But she wasn’t. I told my mum to tell Libbey I was coming to be with her.”

Charlie Peverall in front of his sister's mural
Charlie Peverall in front of his sister's mural

The campaign comes as new research from the BHF reveals that the nation is largely unaware of the devastating effect heart disease has on young people. A nationally representative survey has revealed that over a quarter (27%) don’t believe a heart condition can affect you if you are aged under 35.

A third of people surveyed (33%) say they are aware of a heart condition in their close biological family – and the same number say they have lost a close relative to a sudden cardiac death.

Those surveyed also severely underestimated the number of under 35s that die each week from sudden cardiac death, with most thinking it was seven people – almost half the actual number.

Meanwhile, just over half said that high profile incidents of cardiac arrest – such as Christian Eriksen suffering a cardiac arrest at the Euros 2021 – made them more aware of heart conditions generally.

BHF is making an urgent call for more funding into research to understand the causes, and find cures, for sudden cardiac death.

It believes there is more to understand about why sudden cardiac death can affect seemingly healthy young people, but in many cases these tragedies are attributed to inherited or congenital heart conditions.

The BHF is leading the way in cutting edge research and innovation into heart and circulatory disease and sudden cardiac death with groundbreaking studies underway across the UK and around the world.

The charity’s £30 million CureHeart programme – the most ambitious research grant in the BHF’s history - aims to develop the first cures for inherited heart muscle diseases.

Led by Professor Hugh Watkins at the University of Oxford, a team is developing revolutionary gene therapy technologies to target the genetic faults that can cause these conditions.

In another study, Professor Elijah Behr at St George’s, University of London, is hunting the genetic clues behind unexplained cardiac arrests.

Dr Charmaine Griffiths, BHF’s Chief Executive, said, "Too many lives are being taken too soon by sudden cardiac death. No-one should have to experience the loss of their child, sibling or parent, but sadly that is the cruel reality of heart disease – it doesn’t discriminate.

“As the nation celebrates the UEFA Euro 2024, these powerful murals serve as a reminder of the young football fans that have been snatched away by sudden cardiac death, and we want to thank the families who have kindly agreed to share their stories.

“The BHF is already carrying out groundbreaking research to treat and prevent the causes of sudden cardiac death, but there is still more to do. We urgently need donations to help us fund more lifesaving research to prevent other families going through this heartbreak.”

To donate to the appeal click here.

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