‘I’m lucky to still be here’ said former Eastbourne Eagles boss Trevor Geer after he caught fire at Arlington Stadium.
Geer is back at home but says he still suffers flashbacks to the incident, which happened last week.
The fire caused serious burns to the 63-year-olds chest and his hands which he suffered while tending a bonfire being used to incinerate rubbish.
Geer said, “My chest was alight. The flames were near my neck and face and there was a worry I might have breathed in fumes. All I remember is pain.”
The man from Polegate was able to call his son Chris for help and he also staggered 400 yards to open the stadium’s gates to let helpers in.
He said: “Chris was incredible and turned up with lots of his workshop towels for cooling the burns and (Trevor’s wife) Diane had rolls of Clingfilm to wrap around me.”
Geer was rushed to the Royal Sussex County Hospital in Brighton and then to the Queen Victoria Hospital burns unit in East Grinstead for specialist care.
He said: “I have nothing but praise for the paramedics, ambulance crews and staff at the Brighton A and E and the treatment and care I received at East Grinstead. They were all awesome. We are so lucky with our NHS.”
Geer will undergo surgery and will be off from work for two months.
Geer is not the first person to be involved with the Eagles that has suffered an injury this year.
Former skipper Marc Owen suffered a triple break of the femur, meanwhile reserve Charley Powell has been ruled out for up to a month by a broken collarbone.