Heroes hailed for saving fan's life

Alvechurch fan Rick Edwards is recovering in hospital as staff and fellow supporters at his EVO-STIK League club were being hailed for saving his life on Saturday after he suffered a cardiac arrest.

His family, fans and clubs across Non-League as well as the EVO-STIK League and match officials at the abandoned game heaped praise on Alvechurch's medical team and others who rushed to his aid when he collapsed only minutes into their clash with Gresley at Lye Meadow.

The supporter was rushed to hospital after the club's defibrillator was used and CPR administered before match referee Rich Gardner abandoned the EVO-STIK League South fixture amid emotional scenes. Mr Edwards faces a critical 24 hours in hospital and Gardner led the tributes as family members posted updates from his bedside confirming he was conscious and speaking.

The referee said: "It should be noted that the response and actions of all that treated the man were absolutely amazing, they gave him the very best chance they could for him to survive this horrendous moment. All club officials, staff and players acted with great respect for the seriousness of the incident."

In a message praising the club and wishing the supporter a speedy recovery, EVO-STIK League secretary Angie Firth wrote: "It is excellent news to know an immediate improvement in the man's condition is visible. On behalf of the League, I send all the very best wishes to Rick and applaud the actions of all those who offered support."

Church officials singled out the club's physio Kevin March and an unnamed fan who used the defibrillator for special praise after they led efforts to save the life of the well known home and away supporter before the arrival of an air ambulance and other paramedics.

Using @Alvechurch1st to update fans in a series of tweets following the incident, the club tweeted: "Our defib help save his life and many thanks to all involved, particularly our physio Kev March who the paramedics said definitely help save his life.

"The head paramedic called into the club to say Rick Edwards has managed to say a few words in hospital but the next 24 hours are crucial. The help he was given by our staff and fans was immense and we’re really proud. Get well soon Rick we’re all praying for you."

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Where next?

Saturday's North Division action review There was something of a goal fest in the EVO-STIK League North on Saturday, writes Pitchero's Steve Whitney.
Saturday's Premier Division action review Altrincham will carve the turkey as leaders of the EVO-STIK League Premier table following a fairly comfortable 3-0 win against Matlock Town at the J.Davidson Stadium on Saturday, writes Pitchero's Steve Whitney.

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