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‘Hero’: Newcastle fan who gave stricken fellow supporter CPR is hailed after dramatic scenes which halted Tottenham match (VIDEO)
The Newcastle fan who went viral for stepping in to help a fellow supporter suffering cardiac arrest during the dramatic Premier League meeting with Tottenham has spoken about the incident after being praised as a hero.
Approaching half-time in Sunday’s game at St. James’ Park, the action was brought to a halt when players including Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilon gestured frantically to referee Andre Marriner that something was wrong in the crowd.
It quickly became apparent that a fan was in serious distress as stewards and medics attended the scene, while Tottenham star Eric Dier urged members of the Newcastle medical staff to rush across the pitch and aid the efforts.
After an initial break, the teams were ordered off the pitch as concerns continued over the health of the stricken fan.
Sergio Reguilon alerting the referee and Eric Dier calling for a defibrillator after a medical emergency in the stands at Newcastle. 👏 pic.twitter.com/BUuaipo5Fg
— B/R Football (@brfootball) October 17, 2021
Newcastle vs. Tottenham has been paused due to a medical situation in the crowd. ⛔️
Fair play to Reguilon, Dier and the players making sure medical attention was gotten fast. 🏥
Hope the fan is okay. 🙏
— 433 (@433) October 17, 2021
It was eventually reported that the supporter had been taken to hospital and was “stable and responsive,” while play was resumed to complete the first half.
Social media footage soon appeared showing that members of the crowd had also rushed in, including Dr Tom Prichard, a local A&E doctor who had helped give CPR.
Video from the aftermath showed Prichard returning to his seat as chants of “hero” rang out from fellow fans and he was saluted for his quick thinking.
Speaking to the BBC on Monday, Prichard described how events had unfolded.
The doctor in the crowd who helped save the Newcastle United fan’s life.
What an absolute hero 👏pic.twitter.com/keD2ycinuD
— SPORTbible (@sportbible) October 18, 2021
“There was an elderly gentleman laid out on the seats in cardiac arrest with CPR ongoing. Luckily St. John’s [ambulance staff] were fairly quick, got the pads on quickly, took over CPR,” he said.
“Another friend who sits next to me came over as well, we gave the guy a shock through the defibrillator.
“He was quite fortunate this guy because very quickly an intensive care doctor arrived, a cardiologist arrived, and we were able to bring him back again…,” added the doctor.
“I haven’t really had this outside of the hospital before.”
A football supporter collapsed at the Newcastle-Tottenham game prompting the match to be suspended.
Dr Tom Prichard works in A&E and was there to give CPR to the man ⬇️👏
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) October 18, 2021
Prichard modestly talked up the efforts of the others involved, but admitted that it had been nice to hear the praise ringing out around the ground from thousands of the Geordie faithful.
“I do want to say it wasn’t just me. A friend helping out, Matty another doctor helped out, and the other two doctors there, St John’s were brilliant, the club doctor came over the lend a hand, so it really wasn’t just me,” said Prichard
“But I must say when I was walking back to my seat and 10,000 fans in the Gallowgate were chanting ‘hero’ at me, it was one of the best moments of my life.”
“10,000 fans in The Gallowgate chanting hero, that was one of the best moments of my life”⁰
Newcastle United fan and A&E Doctor Tom Pritchard tells #BBCBreakfast he wasn’t the only one to assist a supporter who collapsed at the match. https://t.co/78yFt5F7Hq pic.twitter.com/VE2KQryPGc
— BBC Breakfast (@BBCBreakfast) October 18, 2021
Dr Prichard, and behind him, Dr Anderson. Two absolute heroes who acted fast to help a Newcastle fan who collapsed during the game yesterday.
— COPA90 (@Copa90) October 18, 2021
Online, Prichard and his fellow helpers have been lauded, including by Newcastle players and members of the consortium which recently took over the club.
“The real hero of the day,” wrote Mehrdad Ghodoussi, husband of UK financier Amanda Staveley, who was the face of the recent Saudi-led takeover of the club.
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. ❤️ https://t.co/7SWG1hyRbe
— Mehrdad Ghodoussi (@ghodoussi) October 18, 2021
Newcastle as a club also tanked supporters, saying: “The club would like to thank fans for their swift actions in raising the alarm and praise those who provided immediate chest compressions, as well as thanking the on-site medical professionals who swiftly administered emergency treatment using a defibrillator located close to the incident.
“Newcastle United club doctor, Dr Paul Catterson, also attended the incident to offer additional support with an additional defibrillator.
“Our best wishes go to the supporter and their loved ones and we hope for a swift and full recovery.”
Can you help me to contact them please https://t.co/q6HwfzW8xB
— Allan Saint-Maximin (@asaintmaximin) October 18, 2021
Football is not the most important. Get well soon 💪🙏 pic.twitter.com/Ltwvxy7wrU
— Sergio Reguilón (@sergio_regui) October 17, 2021
The incident put a dampener on Sunday’s occasion, which was seen as the dawn of a new era for Newcastle after the £305 million ($420 million) takeover funded primarily by the Saudi sovereign Public Investment Fund (PIF).
Despite criticism from some quarters over the Saudis’ human rights track record, Newcastle fans welcomed the deal with jubilation, celebrating the end of the 14-year reign of unloved former owner Mike Ashley and dreaming of Saudi riches rejuvenating the club.
Sunday had started well enough on the pitch as the hosts took the lead through Callum Wilson after just two minutes, but Tottenham hit back through Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane before play was disrupted due to the disturbing scenes in the stands.
When the action did resume, seven minutes was added on to the first half – enough time for Son Heung-min to extend Spurs’ lead to 3-1.
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Newcastle did threaten a comeback through a late own-goal by Eric Dier, but the day ultimately ended in defeat and disappointment as new Saudi chairman Yasir Al-Rumayyan watched on along with Staveley and the other new powerbrokers at the north-east club.
At least, however, the life of one fan appears to have saved.