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Hawthorns heroes honoured for saving Des

19 March 2013

Stewards rewarded for reviving East Stand season ticket holder

STEWARDS who resuscitated Albion fan Des Humphries after his heart stopped beating shortly before last April’s clash with Villa have been commended at a recent awards ceremony.

The Handsworth-born pensioner was on hand to present assistant chief steward, Phil Clarke, and senior licensed steward, Mark Haywood, with certificates of commendation at the West Midlands Ambulance Service Long Service & Excellence Awards at The Chateau Impney Hotel in Droitwich on Thursday. 

The pair were called to Des’ East Stand seat at the Barclays Premier League match by off-duty paramedic, Phil Turton, who sits near Des. 

They began resuscitating the 82-year-old season ticket holder while paramedics Stephanie Whitehouse and Sean Bednall made their way to the incident. Upon arrival, paramedics revived Des using defibrillators and heart massaging techniques.

Des then underwent a triple heart bypass during an eight-week stay in Sandwell and Wolverhampton hospitals.

But his progress was such that he was able to return to The Hawthorns as a Boardroom guest of Chairman Jeremy Peace to watch his beloved Baggies beat QPR 3-2 in October. 


(from left to right): Des Humphries, Phil Turton, Sean Bednall, Mark Haywood, Stephanie Whitehouse, Philip Clarke. 

Des, who continues to go from strength to strength, remains extremely thankful to everyone who helped save his life.

“Thursday gave me a chance to close a circle because when my cardiac arrest happened I knew nothing and it completely wiped any memory I had of what happened,” said Des.

“I met with everybody involved in saving my life at the event and it gave me a wonderful chance to thank them all.

“Prior to the awards ceremony my son and I were hoping someone at Albion would receive an award or some form of recognition.

“We were delighted when we found out about the awards as they are so thoroughly deserved.

“They were well recognised by their peers and I’m delighted they were rewarded for what they did.

“I am also incredibly grateful for the way the club as a whole treated me.

“I am incredibly lucky to be here. If it had not been for the prompt reaction to my situation things might have been very different.

“Without Albion’s well-planned, well-rehearsed emergency section I would never have had the chance to say thank you.

“I must also thank the club for the interest they paid to my condition afterwards, to the point where one of my surgeons received a call from Roy Hodgson to see how I was just before he left.

“I’m also incredibly grateful to the hospitals, paramedics and stewards. Both of the hospitals were fantastic and I couldn’t have been cared for any better.”

In accordance with Spectator Safety National Occupational Standards (NOS), all stewards at The Hawthorns have at least an NVQ Level Two in Spectator Safety, which includes a certificate in first aid.

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