'You can't go like this' - what life-saver told Sheffield Wednesday fan who collapsed after watching Burton Albion defeat

A life-saving hero has revealed what he told a Sheffield Wednesday fan as he gave him CPR following the club's New Year's Day defeat.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 4th January 2018, 1:35 pm
Updated Thursday, 4th January 2018, 1:40 pm
Nikkie Higgs, who performed CPR on the man after finding him collapsed face down in a puddle
Nikkie Higgs, who performed CPR on the man after finding him collapsed face down in a puddle

Nikkie Higgs rushed to the aid of a fellow Owls supporter who collapsed near Hillsborough Stadium after watching the club slide to a 3-0 loss against Burton Albion on Monday.

As he tried desperately to resuscitate the grandfather, whom he found slumped in a car park near the ground, he used that dismal result in an attempt to spur the man's recovery.

"While the man's daughter and I were working on him, we were saying 'you can't go like this, after seeing them lose 3-0 to Burton'," said the 30-year-old, who runs a confectionery stall at Barnsley Market.

Mr Higgs told how he usually leaves home games early to avoid the rush but had stayed until the end on Monday to voice his disapproval at the performance.

Had he left earlier, he says he would not have found the fellow fan collapsed face first in a puddle in the car park on Herries Road that evening.

"I shouted to his daughter who was in front of him and hadn't seen him collapse, and then I flipped him over and found he was unconscious and had stopped breathing," said Mr Higgs.

"I unzipped his coat and started doing chest compressions while she gave him mouth-to-mouth. We must have been doing that for 10 minutes, though it felt like a lifetime."

Mr Higgs said another woman then appeared and took over doing CPR while he ran up the road and flagged down an ambulance which happened to be passing, before shouting at drivers to move out of the way to let it through.

While he was doing this, a fourth person - an away fan, now identified as Rob Wakelin - came to the man's aid and joined in the efforts to resuscitate him before paramedics arrived and took over.

"It was a team effort and I'm so grateful to everyone who helped. We just hope he makes a full recovery," said Mr Higgs.

"I'm not trained in first aid and I've never done anything like this before but it was just instinct, and me and the man's daughter were able to help each other out."

The patient's family have asked for his details to be kept private at this stage, but his grandson Lewis Piddington has praised everyone who helped that evening.

He said today his grandfather remains in a coma three days after collapsing.

Mr Higgs said he and the man's family were keen to hear from the mystery woman who stopped to help, who he believed was a passing driver who had not been at the match.

If that was you, or you know the woman, please email [email protected] or call 0739 3754 549.