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Dundee footballer’s ‘life saved’ after collapse at community centre

Two men went to the stricken player's aid with a defibrillator.

Man's life saved at Menzieshill CommunityHub
Menzieshill Community Hub. Image: Kim Cessford/DC Thomson

Two men have been praised after their actions are thought to have helped save the life of a footballer who collapsed at a Dundee community centre.

The man took unwell while playing five-a-sides at Menzieshill Community Hub on Thursday evening.

Aidan Steele and Chris Kelly went to the man’s aid and used a defibrillator after he went into cardiac arrest.

The man, thought to be aged around 25, was taken to hospital where he is understood to have been recovering.

Aidan, 23, said the drama unfolded during a weekly game he organises at the centre.

‘I knew I had to act fast’

He told The Courier:¬†“We were about 15 minutes into the game when the lad just collapsed.

“For the first couple of seconds, we all wondered if he was just joking around but very quickly I saw he was having a fit and I knew I had to act fast.

“I just ran to reception to get help while making sure others were calling for an ambulance.”

After being alerted, Chris – who works at the centre – grabbed a defibrillator and ran into the hall to help the stricken player.

Quick thinking saves man's life at Menzieshill
Aidan Steele, who helped save the man’s life. Image: Aidan Steele

Aidan said: “We were all in shock but Chris got to work right away.

“He knew what to do and began carrying out CPR and using the defibrillator.

“To begin with I wondered if it was too late – the lad had turned blue and wasn’t breathing but Chris kept on going.

“He got the lad round a couple of times and kept at it until the first responder and then the paramedics arrived.

“It was terrifying to watch. The lad is a good friend of everyone and we honestly thought he had gone.”

‘It’s a miracle he’s still alive’

Aidan – who has since visited the man in hospital – added: “Chris did an amazing job. I’m just glad we were all able to work together, along with the others at the game, and are grateful we probably saved his life.

“I think it’s a miracle he’s still alive.

“It certainly brings home the need for defibrillators in centres like this one – if there hadn’t been one the outcome might not have been as good.”

Leisure and Culture Dundee worker Chris, 47, said: “Aidan realised pretty quickly something serious was happening and ran and got me to go help.

“I grabbed the defibrillator and when I saw the lad, I knew I would have to use it – in all honestly I actually thought he had passed away.

“I was really shaken. Nine times out of 10 when I get called it turns out to be a hurt ankle or something – this is the first time I have actually had to use the defibrillator but I am trained in how to use it and know what to do.”

Praise for Menzieshill Community Hub worker who saved man with defibrillator

Chris said he worked on the man for five to six minutes – but it felt like an hour.

He added: “It was exhausting but I’m so glad it worked.

“It’s thanks to Aidan I was able to act so quickly.”

A Leisure and Culture Dundee spokesman said: “We commend Chris for his life-saving actions and use of the training he has received in a critical moment.

“We also wish the player well in his recovery.

“This incident underscores the value of our investment in defibrillators across our sports venues.

“Since we installed them, they have already saved a number of lives.

Defibrillator saves man's life at Menzieshill.
A defibrillator like this one was used. Image: Shutterstock.

“Our defibrillators are part of The Circuit National Defibrillator Network, ensuring public access in an emergency situation at or near our facilities.

“However, we would like to highlight that many of our defibrillators are becoming obsolete and we are seeking funding to replace this life-saving equipment.

“If anyone can help, we would encourage them to email¬† in the first instance.”

The Scottish Ambulance Service confirmed it sent two ambulances to the scene and took one patient to hospital.