Heart attack fan returns to The Hawthorns

A lifelong football fan whose life was saved after he suffered a cardiac arrest at a West Bromwich Albion game has returned to the club as guest of honour.

Soccer : Barclays Premier League -  West Bromwich Albion V Queens Park Rangers QPR

Stewards, paramedics and supporters sprung into action to save the life of Baggies fan Des Humphries after his heart stopped beating shortly before the derby against Aston Villa at The Hawthorns in April.

And on Saturday the 82-year-old from Stourbridge was invited back by the club as a VIP guest at the fixture against QPR.

Albion’s assistant chief steward Phil Clarke and senior licensed steward Mark Haywood were called to Des’ East Stand seat by off-duty paramedic, Phil Turton, who sits near Des.

They began resuscitating the Handsworth-born season ticket holder while paramedics made their way to him. Paramedics revived Des using defibrillators and heart massaging techniques, he then underwent a triple heart bypass during an eight-week stay in Sandwell and Wolverhampton hospitals.

He has made such progress that he was able to make his Hawthorns return to watch his beloved Baggies beat Liverpool on the opening day of the season.

And on Saturday Des, son Nigel and his friend Phil Turton weer invited as Boardroom guests by chairman Jeremy Peace.

He said: “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.

“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.”