Awards for team members who saved the life of fellow player on Arun Sports Arena pitch

The team members with their certificates
The team members with their certificates

Certificates have been presented to ten members of a walking football team who saved the life of one of their fellow players when he suffered a heart attack on the pitch.

John Lippitt, from Middleton on Sea, said he was ‘totally in awe’ of his teammates, who sprang into action when he collapsed at the Arun Sports Arena in Ford five months ago.

The walking football team members on the pitch

The walking football team members on the pitch

Several of the Arun Area Allstars players administered cardiac pulmonary resuscitation (CPR) while the others fetched a defibrillator and shocked Mr Lippitt with it before the ambulance arrived.

The 74-year-old retired police officer, who has gone on to make a full recovery, put his team members forward to receive awards in recognition of their heroic actions.

He said it was ‘the very least’ he could do.

This morning, the team assembled at the sports arena where former professional football player Guy Butters presented the six life-savers with their Royal Humane Society Resuscitation Certificates.

The team with their certificates

The team with their certificates

These were Ken Seymour of Rustington, Chris Heatley of Littlehampton, Norman Burles of Middleton on Sea, Phil Hall of Felpham, Eric Geddes of Summerley and John Saunders of Chichester.

Four others were awarded Certificates of Commendation by the Society.

These were Peter Matthews of Worthing, Phil Hall of Felpham, Steve Rolfe of Yapton and Gary Purser of Middleton on Sea.

Mr Lippitt said he was pleased to have to opportunity to thank them for their efforts and said: “It was a good morning.”

Also in attendance was the first responder who had taught the team how to perform CPR and use the defibrillator ahead of the incident in May.

Andrew Chapman, secretary of the Royal Humane Society, said the incident showed that being trained in CPR could ‘make the difference between life and death’.

“This is another of many cases which brings home the value of as many people as possible learning how to administer CPR,” he said.

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