Football fan Herbie saved after heart stopped

PUBLISHED: 14:25 04 January 2007 | UPDATED: 22:28 28 May 2010

A picture of Herbie Cole in his playing days, taken from a cutting in the Cambs Times of November 1955 announcing his retirement from football

A picture of Herbie Cole in his playing days, taken from a cutting in the Cambs Times of November 1955 announcing his retirement from football

EXCLUSIVE by MAGGIE GIBSON PARAMEDICS saved the life of 86-year-old football fan Herbie Cole after his heart stopped twice as he watched his favourite team play on New Year s Day. It took about 20 minutes to re-start the heart of the former March Town pla

EXCLUSIVE by MAGGIE GIBSON

PARAMEDICS saved the life of 86-year-old football fan Herbie Cole after his heart stopped twice as he watched his favourite team play on New Year's Day.

It took about 20 minutes to re-start the heart of the former March Town player before he could be taken to Ipswich Hospital.

Mr Cole had travelled to watch his team, Ipswich, play Birmingham at Portman Road with neighbour Ken Rogers when he became ill.

He is now recovering in hospital where he is being visited by other fans who sit near him in the ground's Greene King stand.

Mr Cole, formerly of Deerfield Road, March, and now of Oldfield Avenue, Elm, played football for 20 years. When he retired in 1955 was described as one of the finest clubmen ever to be on March Town's books. He played in every position including goalkeeper.

Mr Rogers has praised the medical team who worked so hard to save his long-time friend. "They did a marvellous job to get him breathing again," he said. "The first I knew was when he slumped against my shoulder. I felt guilty that I hadn't noticed anything wrong but I know if it had happened at home he wouldn't be here today because help was there within minutes."

Jason Gillingham, clinical field operations manager at Ipswich ambulance station was on duty at the ground. He said: "The man suffered two cardiac arrests while he was at the ground , which meant his heart stopped twice. It took us 20 minutes to re-start his heart and stabilise him enough to then be able to get him on a stretcher to get him out of the stadium."

Paramedics worked alongside members of St John Ambulance and used defibrillators to get Mr Cole's heart going again, while stewards put up blankets to prevent other members of the crowd seeing what was happening.

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