Doctor praised after saving rugby player on the pitch

Dudley | News | Published:

A doctor has been praised after he came to the rescue of a rugby player who was knocked unconscious during a match in Stourbridge.

Tony Carter was on hand to help 21-year-old Ben Fairclough, who also swallowed his tongue after receiving a knock to his head in the game yesterday.

Fairclough had been playing for Yorkshire side Otley against Stourbridge Rugby Club at Stourton Park in the National League 2 North.

Mr Carter, who is a team doctor for the Stourbridge club, prevented Fairclough from choking on his tongue before arriving ambulance paramedic took the player to Russells Hall Hospital.

Andy Verlander, Stourbridge manager, said Fairclough, who was being watched by his father, was released from hospital last night.

Today, Otley's director of rugby, James Tiffany, praised Stourbridge Rugby Club and Mr Carter for their quick response.

He said: "I want to thank the medics from Stourbridge, because they did a fabulous job. It just shows the importance of having a doctor on hand."

Mr Verlander said: "If we didn't have a doctor present we would have lost that lad. It was Tony who went in there and took control before the ambulance arrived.

"He did what was needed."


The incident happened shorty before half-time in the game, and forced a half-hour break in play.

Mr Carter, who lives in Stourbridge but works in Kidderminster, was assisted by the club physios Jim Williams and Will James.

Mr Verlander said: "The lad has gone in for tackle a bit too low and found his head in the wrong place.

"He took a knock to the head from a knee and collapsed.


"As soon as it became obvious what happened the game was stopped and everyone came on the pitch.

"We're happy he was okay."

Stourbridge ended up losing the game 37 points to 23.

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