Sunday’s game of football between Newcastle United and Tottenham Hotspur has encapsulated every human emotion – from joy to worry to frustration to catharsis.
There was a buoyant mood in the crowd ahead of the kick-off, but things didn’t go down well at St. James’ Park, as Newcastle United played their first game under new owners.
The game was halted towards the end of the first half when a medical emergency arose in the East Stand.
A Newcastle supporter collapsed from a suspected heart attack, and the players and supporters were quick to get medical attention to the seriously ailing fan.
Magpies supporter Dr Tom Prichard, who was in the Gallowgate stand behind the goal, expeditiously volunteered to help the fan get stabilised, who was then swiftly taken to the hospital by Newcastle’s medical team.
St James’ Park was in an ominous grim atmosphere for nearly 20 minutes before the game resumed, when it was made clear that the supporter was well and out of danger.
Dr Prichard, an Accident & Emergency doctor, was welcomed back to his seat with a massive standing ovation by the home and away crowd, as a show of appreciation for saving a life.
Tens of thousands of fans were chanting ‘hero’ at Dr Prichard, who is seen overwhelmed with emotion.
The doctor, who later spoke to the reporters, says he strongly advocates early CPR and defibrillation for emergency situations like these.
The same helped save Christian Eriksen’s life when he collapsed on the pitch during the Euro 2020 game against Finland.
The incident was brought to attention to the referee by Tottenham defender Sergio Reguilon, who noticed the commotion in the stands, where a fan was lying down on the chairs with CPR being administered to him.
The referee, Andre Marriner, was quick to suspend the match, while Eric Dier promptly sprung to the sidelines to get help.
Huge respect to Sergio Reguilón and Eric Dier for their quick and decisive actions at St James' Park today ❤️👏 pic.twitter.com/z2fNW3wwn2— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) October 17, 2021
The game ended at full-time with Tottenham winning 3-2 and the Spurs duo – Reguilon and Dier were awarded joint men of the match for their part in helping the supporter get prompt medical assistance.
While the saved supporter sure has given a cathartic relief to all, things may go belly-up for Steve Bruce, whose team hasn’t won a single game since the start of the season and is currently in the relegation zone.