Heroic actions of player and mystery nurse

Pinchbeck United player-manager Ian Dunn who helped treat a player who collapsed on the pitch during a game on Saturday.  Photo by Steve Relf.
Pinchbeck United player-manager Ian Dunn who helped treat a player who collapsed on the pitch during a game on Saturday. Photo by Steve Relf.
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The quick thinking of a football manager has potentially saved the life of a player who collapsed and stopped breathing during a game.

Ian Dunn (33), player-manager of Pinchbeck United, came to the aid of Chris Down (27) who was playing against the village football club for Cambridgeshire side Sawtry on Saturday.

The drama unfolded at about 2.45pm when Chris knelt down and called for a trainer after feeling faint.

Ian, a community sports worker in Boston, said: “I just thought someone had gone down injured and the Sawtry team was getting someone on to treat him.

“But then I noticed he wasn’t moving a lot and while chatting to their management, they shouted for a first aider to have a look at him.

“It was then that I knew it was more serious than it looked at first and when I got to the lad, he was on the floor but wasn’t breathing.”

Fortunately, a mystery nurse who was watching the game also came on the pitch and helped Ian in treating Chris before he was taken by ambulance to Peterborough City Hospital.

Ian said: “About five minutes after I got to him, a nurse who’d been watching the game appeared from nowhere to help the lad as well.

“It was good to have her there but after the game had been abandoned, she was gone and nowhere to be found.”

Chris was discharged by doctors on Saturday night and Pinchbeck United officials have kept in touch with Sawtry to see how the player is recovering.

Ian said: “I asked our chairman to contact Chris and he seems okay, but more tests have to be done on him.

“I’ve been playing senior football for 17 years and I’ve never seen anything like that before.

“All the players were shocked and worried about Chris because not many of them had seen something like it before.

“Luckily, I need to have first aid training as part of my job so I’m always up to date on how to treat people in an emergency situation.”

Chris, from Peterborough, said: “I just remember a couple of minutes before it happened it felt like my head was swaying.

“Then my heart started pounding and I just went really weak.

“If Ian and the nurse weren’t there, I don’t know what would have happened to me because my manager said they didn’t really know what to do.

“I’m just grateful there was someone out there with first aid training and when Sawtry next go to Pinchbeck, I’d like to thank them personally.”