‘I just helped him, that was it’ – Sheffield cliff fall rescuer rejects hero label

One of the men who rescued a Sheffield music producer after he fell 40ft down a sheer cliff face has rejected to the idea they did anything heroic.

James Gosling
James Gosling

James Gosling, aged 24, was walking along the cliff top, just off Psalter Lane, Hunters Bar, when the rock crumbled and he plummeted to the ground below.

Fortunately, his screams were heard by staff and students at the nearby Northern Martial Arts Academy, who rushed to his aid and organised his rescue.

James Gosling

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Steve Ainscough, an instructor at the Northern Martial Arts Academy, said the rescuers just did what anyone else would have done, but did agree that James had been ‘very, very lucky’.

“I just helped him, that was it,” said Steve, modestly.

“Luckily we were having a grading day at the academy but if we hadn’t been there he would have been there until Monday morning.

“I tried to comfort him, talk to him and make sure he didn’t move because he said he couldn’t move his legs so I knew he needed the experts there.”

Steve, aged 61, who is from Brimington near Chesterfield, said James’ fall had left him stuck behind some trees and completely invisible from the road.

“He was in serious pain when I found him and he had started going into shock,” he said.

“I just asked him his name and what he had been doing. Just trying to keep him talking.

“He fell a long way and there are some really jagged rocks. He was extremely lucky.”

Steve, who teaches traditional jiu-jitsu at the Hunter’s Bar centre, said he couldn’t thank his daughter Isobel enough for helping organise the ambulance and also heaped praise on the students from the academy who helped the paramedics move James.

“We’ve been told he is already back on his feet which is a really good sign,” said Steve.

“I would be really nice to meet him.”

After he was taken to Northern General Hospital, James was found to have fractured his spine in four places.

Miraculously, however, his spinal cord was not damaged in the fall, meaning he will still be able to walk.

Speaking from his hospital bed, James, known in the music scene as J.G, said he is lucky to be alive.

“I am really lucky to be alive. People have looked at how far I fell and said it is a miracle I am still here to tell the tale,” he said.

“I had sat down on a bench for a cigarette and got up, took a step forward and the rock crumbled and the next thing I knew I was at the bottom of the cliff and could not move.

“I must have lost consciousness and when I came round and started shouting for help, three men heard me and raised the alarm.

“I want to thank them for saving my life because if they had not found me I dread to think what would have happened.”