It should have been a moment of joy after scoring a goal – but it ended with Dave Betteridge having his friends to thank for saving his life.
The father-of-two collapsed just moments after having struck an equaliser having suffered a heart attack.
But his friends and team-mates Glyn Betts and Matt Inns rushed to his aid and administered first aid until paramedics arrived.
The trained first aiders took it in turns doing mouth-to mouth resuscitation and compressions during a 10 minute period.
Mr Betteridge, who works at Rugeley Power Station, was then taken to Walsall Manor Hospital where he has remained for care while awaiting a triple by-pass operation. The 46 year-old had been playing on the astroturf at the Erasmus Darwin Academy in Chasetown when the drama unfolded on September 12 this year.
He had just scored for his six-a-side team The Trotters to make it 1-1 when he was seen to slowly drop to the floor. His team mates, which included son Jacob, initially thought it was a joke and he was pretending to be asleep on the pitch.
But the seriousness of the situation soon arose and the pals for years stepped in.
Wolves fan Mr Betteridge, who lives in Armitage Road, Rugeley, has hailed his pals, who are modest over their actions, for saving his life.
“I personally can’t remember much about the event. Apparently I got the ball and scored, which was a bit of a shock itself, and that was when I collapsed. The next thing I remember is waking up here at Walsall Manor.
“They saved my life, there is no doubt about that. Without those two I wouldn’t be here now. I owe them a massive debt of gratitude.”
Glyn, aged 44, of Heath Hayes, has known his friend for 10 years and works as an optical technician. He said: “At the time it was just the first aid that kicked in. It was once the ambulance had gone the shock kicked in for both of us.”