‘Hero cricketers saved my dad’s life’

Colin and Leigh Parsons SUS-190716-112741001
Colin and Leigh Parsons SUS-190716-112741001

The family of a man who collapsed at a cricket match say the actions of his fellow players saved his life.

Colin Parsons, 54, had been playing for Nutley Cricket Club at the Fords Green Ground when he suddenly started having a heart attack on Saturday (July 6).

Colin Parsons SUS-190716-112358001

Colin Parsons SUS-190716-112358001

But fortunately there were two off-duty doctors and a paramedic playing for the opposing Hadlow Down side, whose experience kicked in when disaster struck.

Colin’s wife Leigh said: “He came off and asked me for some paracetamol for a headache. It happened really quickly. Lucky for us there were two doctors and a paramedic playing on the opposite team.

“They were amazing, if it wasn’t for them he wouldn’t be here.

“There was also a defibrillator there. It’s so important for things like that to be available and everybody to know first aid.”

She said: “We want to thank everybody, they were all so wonderful. I want to thank all the people there, they were all so brilliant I can’t thank them enough.

“Emergency services were brilliant as well.”

And Colin’s son Matthew said: “If it wasn’t for their quick thinking I’m pretty sure my dad wouldn’t be here.

“He’s doing amazingly. We want to thank everyone who has supported us, and being there for my dad.”

Former firefighter Ian Ritchie was closest to Colin when he started having a heart attack.

He has been praised by Colin’s family for performing first aid.

But he said: “I’m not taking any credit, it was a good team effort.

“Everything happened in seconds. I soon realised he was struggling and we called 999.”

Armed only with a stethoscope, the players knocked on nearby doors to find an aspirin to ease the situation.

Then their friend went into full cardiac arrest and the ambulance arrived.

“What the paramedics did was above and beyond,” said Ian.

Of his friend of 40 years he said: “His time wasn’t up.”