Sergio Reguilon opens up about being "shaken and nervous" when Newcastle fan collapsed
"I went quickly to the referee to say, 'Please stop the game, the man is dying and we need some medical help'"
Sergio Reguilon has opened up about the part he played in helping the Newcastle fan who collapsed receive emergency medical attention last weekend.
Newcastle United's game against Tottenham Hotspur on Sunday was temporarily suspended just before half-time due to a medical emergency in the crowd.
The game was paused with Spurs leading 2-1 when fans in the East Stand of St James' Park alerted the stewards and players on the pitch of the incident.
Reguilon quickly got the attention of referee Andre Marriner, while Eric Dier quickly ran the length of the pitch to get a member of the Magpies medical team to help out and bring a defibrillator so that the correct medical attention could be provided.
Alan George Smith, an 80-year-old Newcastle supporter, collapsed with a cardiac arrest and was treated in the stands before being transferred to a nearby hospital.
"It is entirely possible that they have saved someone's life today."
Sergio Reguilón and Eric Dier have been named joint Premier League Men of the Match for #NEWTOT after their swift-actions during an incident during the first-half. pic.twitter.com/OfFrGJjVOU
— Sky Sports Premier League (@SkySportsPL) October 17, 2021
The Spanish left-back has been praised for his quick thinking, which allowed the game to stop and the situation to be dealt with.
"I don’t know why I looked up into the stands at that moment," Reguilon told the Mail. "Maybe I heard the people shouting 'stop, stop' but I looked up there, and I saw one man lying down and another man pumping his chest with the heart massage.
"I looked at the man’s face and I could see it was not good. I thought, 'This guy is dying' and I was shaken and nervous. I went quickly to the referee to say, 'Please stop the game, the man is dying and we need some medical help, hurry up'.
"I am only here for one year from Spain and there are many technical words I don’t know, like defibrillator, so I spoke with Eric Dier to tell him the doctors need to bring on a defibrillator."
The fans who were nearby to Mr Smith were quick to inform the stewards about the incident, with a number of off-duty medics in the crowd rushing to help, including a junior doctor called Tom Prichard, who received a well-deserved applause for conducting life-saving CPR until St John Ambulance workers and Newcastle’s club doctor arrived on the scene.
Football is not the most important. Get well soon 💪🙏 pic.twitter.com/Ltwvxy7wrU
— Sergio Reguilón (@sergio_regui) October 17, 2021
Reguilon - who joined Spurs in September 2020 - was keen to praise the 'heroes' that saved Mr Smith's life, as well as the fans and players on the pitch.
He said: "These guys are the heroes. It was thanks to the amazing reaction of the fans and people in the crowd and the doctors who were there to see the game and rushed to help in that moment, they saved the man’s life.
"We have to start teaching these skills in schools so everybody has them.
"I don’t know how to do CPR but I think I did the right thing. Eric Dier was incredible and it was the right action to stop the game by the referee. In the dressing room, all I could think about was the man.
"I didn’t know him, it was different to the situation with Christian Eriksen because we knew him personally, but I was sad for him.
"They came to tell us he was doing OK and my mind relaxed a bit. My team-mates were saying, 'come on Regy, focus on the game, the man is stable, he’s going to be OK'. But I still had the image in my mind, the guy lying down and I thought he was dead. I could not forget. It was one of the worst experiences of my life."
Mr Smith's family have since released a statement to update fans on his condition, stating that he was 'making great progress, is fully alert and is up and walking about'.
When the game eventually resumed, Spurs were able to withstand a Newcastle fightback and secured an important 3-2 victory.
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