A grandad who had a heart attack while watching a Nelson FC training session was saved by an on the ball defender and manager.
Sam O’Leary (78) was watching his grandson Jack and the team train on Thursday when he collapsed.
Nelson defender Kevin Brown and manager Phil Eastwood ran to the rescue and Kevin performed CPR on Mr O’Leary until paramedics arrived.
Mr O’Leary had travelled across to Nelson from Liverpool with his son Kevin (53) and grandson Jack (17) who plays for Nelson. He’s now recovering in hospital and the family have thanked the quick-thinking duo for saving Mr O’Leary’s life.
Kevin O’Leary said: “Dad’s obviously not 100% yet but to me he is 150% better than he was. He is still in Blackburn at the moment but they are hoping to transfer him to Liverpool in the next couple of days.
“We were laughing and then Jack hit a pass and he said ‘that’s a good ball’.
“He then just slumped into me and I thought ‘what are you doing?’ I thought he had tripped over but then I saw his eyes were rolling and he had been sick. I thought he was having a fit.
“I shouted and Kevin Brown and Phil Eastwood ran over and Kevin started performing chest compressions and Phil phoned for an ambulance.
“They basically saved my dad’s life. We owe them a lot. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. There are no words and no amount of money to say how grateful we are.
“Thank you to everybody at Nelson FC, the first responders and the ambulance crews and Royal Blackburn Hospital. My dad wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for you. You have been amazing. First class.”
A Just Giving page has now been set up with the aim of raising enough cash for a defibrillator for Nelson FC and to provide sessions on how to perform CPR. The amount raised is already closing in on £900.
Phil said: “We just kicked into action. I didn’t think about it at the time.
“I have done a bit in first aid and I know Kevin (Brown) does cardiac rehab with people, but that is in recovery after the event.
“I went to see Kevin last night and he seems in good spirits. The main thing is he is still here.
“The fund page was set at £200 but it’s way over that already. We’re hopeful in time that Kevin can come down and present the defibrillator.”
Kevin added: “I think it’s a brilliant idea. The money can fund a defibrillator and any other medical equipment the club need for both players and supporters.
“When he’s fully fit again, the club are planning to invite dad down for a day in hospitality when the new season starts which is really nice. There’s a lot of good people out there.”
You can donate at crowdfunding.justgiving.com/lauren-oleary