Melton footballers praised after referee collapses

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Footballers have been praised after one of them gave life-saving resuscitation to a referee when he collapsed on the pitch during a cup final at Asfordby.

Brian Gordon is believed to have suffered a heart attack in the 23rd minute of Friday evening’s Melton Sunday League Knockout Cup final between Avin A Laff United and Hamilton.

The match was immediately stopped and while one player desperately carried out CPR on Mr Gordon, others called emergency services.

An ambulance arrived at the Hoby Road pitch in around 10 minutes, along with community first responders and a paramedic in a car and Mr Gordon was taken to Glenfield Hospital in Leicester for treatment.

Vinny Musson, secretary of the Melton and District Sunday Football League, who was at the match, which was abandoned, said: “It was very worrying. The game stopped because everyone realised it was serious.

“One of the Avin A Laff players carried out CPR on the referee and we called for an ambulance.”

Mr Musson added: “From the league’s point of view we just want to wish Brian a speedy recovery and say a big thank you to everyone who helped and assisted to give Brian the best possible chance.”

Steve Bratt, referee development officer for the Leicestershire and Rutland County FA, said he had been informed that Mr Gordon has suffered a heart attack and had a pacemaker fitted but was still poorly.

He said he had sent a card to Mr Gordon on behalf of the county FA and planned to make contact with him when the time was right.

A spokesperson for East Midlands Ambulance Service (EMAS) said: “We received a call at 6.55pm on Friday, to Asfordby Amateurs Football Club in Hoby Road, Asfordby.

“The caller reported that the referee was unconscious, so the call was recorded as immediately life-threatening.

“We sent two community first responders, a paramedic in a car and an ambulance crew, and one man was taken to Glenfield General Hospital.”

Dr Bob Winter, clinical director at EMAS, said: “When someone is unconscious and not breathing, the most important thing to do is to call 999 immediately.

“If required, our call handlers will give instructions on how to give CPR, which can save lives.”