Sheffield referee suffers heart attack midway through pre-season football friendly

A pre-season football friendly in Sheffield had to be abandoned this weekend after the referee suffered a heart attack during the match.

Monday, 10th July 2017, 4:58 pm
Updated Tuesday, 18th July 2017, 8:41 am
Robert Sewell

MDS Falcons FC's U21's side were taking on Horse & Tiger FC in Beighton on Sunday morning in a pre-season friendly.

Following a drinks break midway through the second half, referee Robert Sewell was preparing to come back onto the pitch when he collapsed to the floor.

Players and coaches rushed over the 45-year-old including including MDS Falcons U21's team manager Brett Gregory.

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He said: "It was an incredibly hot day and we were having regular drinks breaks.

"We had a break halfway through the second half with about 20 minutes to go and the referee went the other side of the pitch for some water.

"He was just about to come back on the pitch when he went down on one knee. We thought that maybe the heat had got to him but we rushed over and asked if he was OK.

"He said yes at first but when he tried to get up he said he felt a tingling in his arm. We rang the an ambulance and five minutes later they were rushing him to hospital."

Mr Sewell was rushed into surgery where he had three heart stents fitted and is now recovering in hospital with his family at his side.

The club have now launched a JustGiving page to try and raise £1,000 to have a defibrillator fitted at the club.

Mr Gregory said: " We had a meeting on Wednesday and on the agenda was about getting a defibrillator. You hope that you never need one but it's just nice to have it there.

"Luckily his heart did not stop and the emergency services got there in time but if it had stopped and we did not have a defibrillator then the chances of survival are not great.

"Hopefully something like this will never happen again but we want the right equipment so we could give him the best chance until the emergency services get there.

"This has opened our eyes to it. We have spoken to league officials, they have never heard of this happening before but that doesn't mean that it won't happen again and we need to be prepared."

To donate to MDS Falcons' JustGiving page, click here.