Harrogate Railway Athletic footballers praised for 'extraordinary' actions which helped save a man's life
"I could not be prouder of them" was Mick O'Connell's reaction to the news that two of his Harrogate Railway players helped save a man's life on Saturday evening.
Club captain Dan McDaid and experienced defender Mike Morris were celebrating the club's 4-0 NCEL Division One victory over Nostell Miners Welfare in the Station View clubhouse when a horrific situation began to unfold in front of them.
The DJ at a private function being hosted by the Starbeck outfit collapsed, leaving the majority of onlookers in a state of shocked bewilderment.
But Morris, a serving soldier in the British Army, reacted in a flash, joining off-duty medical professionals in tending to the stricken man and administering Cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR).
Meanwhile, McDaid raced down to the Station View changing rooms and swiftly returned armed with Railway's defibrillator, which was then used to help resuscitate the DJ.
"What those two lads did was extraordinary. That man was dead on the floor. They reacted in an instant and took control while a lot of other people around them froze," O'Connell said.
"If it wasn't for their quick reactions, somebody's kids would have been waking up on Sunday morning without a dad.
"Moz [Morris] started chest compressions and Dan went and got the defibrillator then had his hand down the man's throat, clearing his airway by removing the vomit he was choking on.
"What they and the other people who helped did was just unbelievable. We had a great win on Saturday, but forget about that. Football matches, results, none of it matters when you compare it to something like this. It was life and death.
"Those two lads should be so proud of themselves. They've done their football club proud and I could not be prouder of them."