Newcastle United fan whose collapse stopped Premier League game ‘doing well’

·4-min read

A football fan who collapsed on the terraces and brought Newcastle United’s Premier League match against Spurs to a halt is “doing well”, a senior figure at the club has said.

Medics in the crowd rushed to help when the elderly supporter suffered a cardiac arrest at St James’ Park on Sunday, and their speedy actions are thought to have saved the man’s life.

Players were praised for alerting the referee, who stopped the game, allowing a defibrillator to get to the fan more quickly.

Accident and Emergency consultant Dr Tom Prichard, who works at North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Trust, was among those who performed CPR and used the defibrillator before paramedics arrived to take the man to hospital.

Watch: Doctor describes saving the life of fellow Newcastle Utd fan

On Monday, Mehrdad Ghodoussi, whose wife, Amanda Staveley, is leading the consortium of investors which took over the club, said the fan – whom he named as George – is doing well.

He tweeted: “The real hero of the day thank you Dr. Prichard.

“Thankfully George is now in a stable condition and doing well.

“I’m sure the whole country is sending him positive vibes and he’ll be back in St James Park in no time at all.”

Fans in the ground looked shocked and worried when the game, which had a global TV audience of millions, was stopped for 20 minutes, with the players coming off the pitch while work went on to save the man’s life.

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – St. James’ Park
A member of the Newcastle United medical team runs to assist a fan in the stands during the Premier League match against Spurs at St James’ Park, Newcastle (Owen Humphreys/PA)

They cheered and called Dr Prichard a hero as he returned to his seat in the Gallowgate End after helping out.

Dr Prichard told BBC Breakfast: “It all happened so quickly, to be honest. I was sat in the Gallowgate End and I could see that there was something going on with the fans.

“They were calling over the stewards and first aiders, and I saw a lady there doing CPR on someone, so, as an A&E doctor, I thought ‘I’d better go and offer a hand if I can and see what help I can give here’, so I just got up and went over to help, really.”

Asked what he saw, he said: “It’s something you see at work fairly often, but I haven’t really had this outside of the hospital before.

“There was an elderly gentleman laid out on the seats in cardiac arrest with CPR ongoing.”

Dr Prichard said St John Ambulance volunteers had arrived swiftly, and, with the help of his friend Matty, they used the defibrillator to give a shock to the fan.

He said: “He was quite fortunate, this guy, as well because very quickly an intensive care doctor arrived, a cardiologist arrived and we were able to bring him back again.”

Newcastle United v Tottenham Hotspur – Premier League – St. James’ Park
Fans and medics were praised for their quick action (Owen Humphreys/PA)

He said he had no idea what had happened on the pitch or that the game had stopped.

“I kind of just went into overdrive and focused on the matter in hand, and actually, when I got back to my seat, I had no idea that the game had been stopped and the first half was still going on, so that was a bit bizarre,” he said.

Asked about the reaction of fellow fans, he said: “I do want to say, this wasn’t just me. As I said, a friend was helping out, Matty, another doctor and the other two doctors there, St John’s were brilliant, the club doctor came over as well to lend a hand, so it really wasn’t just me.

“But I would say when I was walking back to my seat and 10,000 fans in the Gallowgate were chanting ‘Hero’ at me, that is one of the best moments of my life, yes.”

Newcastle winger Allan Saint-Maximin put out an appeal on Twitter to make contact with the doctors who helped.

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