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Saturday August 18 2018

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In Full . . .

Great save at ’Church

Posted on February 28 2018 at 1:53:04

Rick

An Alvechurch FC “superfan” whose life was saved by a new defibrillator at the club is hoping other sports clubs and village amenities follow Lye Meadow’s lead in installing the equipment.

Rick Edwards, aged 66, suffered a heart attack at the start of Alve-church’s match against Gresley FC on December 23.

Quick-thinking club physio Kevin March, fellow supporter Jude Yates and Gresley fan Martin Bassett treated him 15 times with the defibrillator – which had been installed just weeks before.

“Apparently I “died” three times, but they never gave up,” says Rick. “Many of the smaller clubs don’t have defibrillators, but I think there should be one available in all places where people gather.”

He says he remembers nothing of the dramatic circumstances which saw the match abandoned as he was taken by air ambulance to the Alexandra Hospital in Redditch.

“I was just talking to my mates before the game, and the next thing I knew it was December 28,” he recalls. He was in hospital for a month but has not missed an Alvechurch match since being discharged.

Rick has been supporting the Churchmen since 1956 when he moved to Alvechurch and got roped into helping carry trestle tables for the half-time oranges – and he has been a stalwart ever since, attending both home and away matches.

“I’ve had plenty of heart attacks watching them play over the years,” he joked.

Rick moved to Redditch when he got married in 1972, but says his heart was always in Alvechurch, where some of his family still live – his dad’s ashes are scattered at Lye Meadow, and there is also a memorial bench outside the clubhouse.
“The club is like a family; we’ve all known each other for years. Non-league football is really friendly and we’re just as passionate as fans of the big clubs. It’s great to see a resurgence of younger people coming to watch.”

After hearing Rick’s story, Broms­grove Sporting’s manager, Paul Smith, set up an appeal raising funds for defibrillators at non-league clubs – it has raised almost £2,500 and you can donate at http://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/paul-smith-655

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