The Mansfield Town fan brought back to life after collapsing at the club’s stadium has thanked the match-day medics who rushed to save him.
Howard Richardson, aged 66, suffered a cardiac arrest as he walked to the One Call Stadium for a match – and his heart stopped for four minutes before he was resuscitated.
He is now in a stable condition at Nottingham’s Queen’s Medical Centre.
Groundsman Scott Merriman witnessed Mr Richardson collapse and rushed to place him in the recovery position, before calling club physiotherapists Dan Kett and Lizzie Reed for assistance.
Mr Richardson, from Forest Town, said: “I can’t believe the enormity of what’s happened, and the support from all the people who looked out for me. All I can do is thank you all for saving my life.”
His son Jack Richardson, 24, said: “The staff were absolutely amazing, they came straight over. It’s so overwhelming, I owe so much thanks to the club’s staff an the emergency services, and also the other fans who got involved.”
The father is recovering well in hospital but doctors still do not know what caused his cardiac arrest, added Jack, who told of his panic as the incident unfolded.
He said: “We we walking up the stairs to the Quarry Lane entrance and dad said he felt dizzy. He was staggering and within a few seconds he stumbled and I caught him. The look in his face was blue, and I was in hysterics – I instantly feared the worst.
“He still doesn’t remember what happened – all he recalls was feeling dizzy and then waking up in hospital. It’s so overwhelming how people came to help – we’re so grateful to everyone.”
Doctors said Howard Richardson’s heart stopped beating for four minutes and that it was only thanks to the quick action of those at the scene that he is still alive.
Groundsman Scott Merriman saw Mr Richardson, from Mansfield Woodhouse, collapse and rushed to place him in the recovery position.
He then called over physiotherapists Dan Kett and Lizzie Reed for assistance – and the team gave CPR while they waited for paramedics to arrive.
Mr Kett said: “It was apparent very quickly that he was not showing any signs of life. He wasn’t breathing and we needed to commence our CPR routine. I then gave two rescue breaths and that sparked a minor response.”
Just as the team were about to use defibrillators to shock Howard’s heart, the paramedics arrived, he added.
“For people like myself and Lizzie, we’ve got the training but you hope it’s a situation you never find yourself in,” he said.
“You go on autopilot, the training and the adrenaline kicks in and you just go.
“They key thing was that we got there quickly and started the emergency process as quickly as we could.
“It was such a relieving feeling to know the care we gave played a part.”
Mansfield Town manager Steve Evans said: “The actions from the paramedics was most impressive and it is good to know we are in the company of some great people who can, and do, save lives.
“The expertise of the medical staff kicked-in and like the match, teamwork prevailed.”
Speaking after his ordeal, Mr Richardson added: “I can’t the support from all the people who looked out for me.”
St John's Ambulance first aider David Briggs also attended the scene to aid the situation before paramedics arrived.
He said: "We're always at hand at every Stags game, and I'm glad to hear that the gentleman is stable - we were glad to give him assistance and we wish him a speedy recovery."