Two Workington Reds fans have been hailed as life-savers after rushing to the aid of a man who collapsed while suffering a cardiac arrest.
The casualty, aged in his fifties, had undergone a triple heart by-pass operation last year and was in the queue at the tea bar of Reds’ footballing rivals Matlock when he collapsed on Saturday.
Fortunately retired GP Simon Wilson, father of Reds midfielder Rob Wilson, was nearby and reacted immediately while midwife Elaine Heron, who was driving the travelling Workington supporters’ minibus, joined in.
The pair gave mouth-to-mouth resuscitation and CPR until paramedics and an ambulance crew arrived to take over.
The area’s air ambulance helicopter landed on the Causeway Lane pitch, which resulted in the Evo Stik Premier League match being delayed for 45 minutes.
Dr Wilson said: “The man was standing near me in the queue when he collapsed.
“It’s obviously something I have dealt with and was obviously serious because there was no pulse.
“Elaine and I were taking it in turn to resuscitate until the paramedics arrived.”
Mrs Heron said that she’d been used to performing life-saving techniques on newborn babies but this was the first time she had been involved with an adult.
“We are trained to act in these sort of circumstances but it’s something that happens every day in the NHS,” she said.
“I suppose we worked on the man for up to 10 minutes until the paramedics arrived and once they took over they were very good.
The speedy response of the air ambulance was also praised by fans of both clubs.
Matlock Town organised an impromptu bucket collection, raising more than £350 for the emergency service.
Speaking of the Workington fans’ actions, a Matlock spokesman said: “I don’t think there’s any doubt that they saved the man’s life. He came round and was talking to the paramedics when they took him away in the ambulance but the initial work which saved him had been done by the two Workington supporters.”
Dr Wilson and Mrs Heron were invited into the Matlock boardroom at half-time and were given round of applause.
Later, after the man had been taken to hospital in Chesterfield, his family also sent thanks to Dr Wilson and Mrs Heron for saving his life.
When the game did get underway, Workington fell behind to an early goal but fought back to win 2-1. Conor Tinnion equalised just before half-time and Jack Ryan scored the winner two minutes from time.