icon bookmark-bicon bookmarkicon cameraicon checkicon chevron downicon chevron lefticon chevron righticon chevron upicon closeicon v-compressicon downloadicon editicon v-expandicon fbicon fileicon filtericon flag ruicon full chevron downicon full chevron lefticon full chevron righticon full chevron upicon gpicon insicon mailicon moveicon-musicicon mutedicon nomutedicon okicon v-pauseicon v-playicon searchicon shareicon sign inicon sign upicon stepbackicon stepforicon swipe downicon tagicon tagsicon tgicon trashicon twicon vkicon yticon wticon fm
18 Oct, 2021 10:48

‘Hero’: Newcastle fan who gave stricken fellow supporter CPR is hailed after dramatic scenes which halted Tottenham match (VIDEO)

‘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.

READ MORE: ‘Medical emergency’: Newcastle vs Tottenham match halted due to incident in crowd as fans and players concerned

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.

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.

“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.

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.”

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.  

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."

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.

Also on rt.com ‘Disgraceful’: Fans hit out at Son for celebrating goal shortly after medical emergency at Newcastle-Tottenham match

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.