Peterborough footballer’s breathing restored after pitch-side drama

Chris Down.
Chris Down.
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A footballer who collapsed during a Peterborough League game and stopped breathing has thanked the manager of the opposition club who gave him emergency treatment.

Sawtry midfielder Chris Down (27) was treated on the field for 25 minutes during which his airways had to be cleared.

The incident took place during a Peterborough League Premier Division match at Pinchbeck on Saturday.

Chris was cared for by Pinchbeck player-manager Ian Dunn and a spectator who happened to be a nurse, before being taken by the ambulance to Peterborough City Hospital where he was released that evening.

Chris, from the Orton area, said: “I’m okay now, I’m a lot better. It’s happened to me four or five times before but not this bad. I think it’s more of a shock happening on a football field.

“I just remember a couple of minutes before it happening I could not form my vision. It seemed like my head was swaying then my heart started pounding and I just went really weak.

“The next thing I remember is being in the clubhouse.

“If Ian and the nurse had not been there I don’t know what would have happened to me. If anything comes from this then hopefully one or two people from each club could be sent on a first aid course.”

Ian (33) a community sports worker in Boston said: “It looked like he had gone down injured. There was a pulse but he was not breathing.

“You go into auto-pilot. The first thing on my mind was to make sure he was safe. Once you get home you realise it was a little bit scary.”

Sawtry manager Jason Bohonis said: “I can’t praise the actions of Ian and Pinchbeck Football Club enough. It was a very scary few moments.”

An ambulance spokesman confirmed Chris needed his breathing restored.

The match, which Sawtry was winning 1-0, was abandoned.