Former apprentice Nathan Haynes saved his teammate’s life when his heart stopped beating and he collapsed on the pitch.
The 26-year-old Merseyside firefighter, who was on the sidelines due to injury, used a defibrillator to bring defender Scott Towers back to life.
Also trained in emergency care, Nathan told the Liverpool Echo: “You could see it was serious straight away by the body language of the ref and players. I knew what a cardiac arrest was but seeing what happened to Fabrice Muamba, Christian Eriksen and Charlie Wyke definitely helped identify it.
“At first I just went into work-mode really without thinking too much about it. I ran from the other side of the pitch as quick as I could to assess him, then as he progressed into cardiac arrest, we lost his pulse.”
Towers was playing for Ashville FC at the Ray Parker stadium in Wallasey when the incident occurred. The club were recently given a new defibrillator by The FA.
Haynes, a former Macclesfield Town apprentice, said: “I remember looking around and seeing the face on his dad, Ian, behind me. It was that moment where my emotions came into play and the reality of what was happening hit me, so I shouted ‘come on Scotty, stay with me’.
“He wasn’t responsive so I started CPR, then the defibrillator was brought over and after two shocks we regained a pulse.”
Scott, who was put into an induced coma but has since recovered, said doctors still don’t know what caused his cardiac arrest.
He said: “I just can’t put it into words how much I’m thankful to everyone, especially Nathan. I saw him on Saturday at the next match and gave him a massive hug. The doctors said to me 1 in 20 survive outside of hospital when they have a cardiac arrest. That’s why you can’t put a price on a defibrillator, they literally are priceless.”
Hero Nathan called for defibrillators to be installed in all public buildings. He explained: “You never think it’s going to happen to you or your loved ones but it’s essential. Defibrillators are a must-have. Thanks to charities like the Tim Cogley and Oliver King foundations more is being done to raise awareness. If I didn’t have access to that defib, there’s a chance Scott wouldn’t be here today.”