Millwall firefighter saves heart attack man’s life

PUBLISHED: 16:52 06 September 2013 | UPDATED: 16:52 06 September 2013

Clinton Walsh is pictured with John Lawrence who suffered a heart attack

Clinton Walsh is pictured with John Lawrence who suffered a heart attack


An off duty firefighter helped save the life of a football fan who suffered a heart attack after a match.

Clinton Walsh, Watch Manager at Millwall fire station, performed CPR on John Lawrence, 70, at the Charlton game at The valley on August 31 with fellow firefighter Steve Nolan from Old Kent Road station in Southwark.

The pair were stewards at the game against Leicester when Mr Lawrence collapsed after suffering a heart attack.

Clinton said: “After the game, we were standing by the players’ tunnel, when we received a message to go to the male toilets, as a person had collapsed.

“We saw an elderly man lying face up and unresponsive. That’s when our training came into force and I began to check his pulse, listen for breaths and listen to his chest for signs of life. Steve was continuously trying to get a response, it was obvious that the person had no pulse or visible signs of life. He then took a gasp for breath; so we then started to administer CPR.”

Using a defibrillator they carried on with CPR until the doctor and paramedics arrived on the scene John started to respond and developed a stronger pulse and began breathing unaided.

Clinton said: “During this time, I kept reassuring John that he was in safe hands. Just before he was being taken away by the paramedics, he started gaining consciousness and became aware of his surroundings.

“John is extremely lucky to have been found when he was, as everyone had left the ground after the match and the outcome could have taken a different turn. He is now recovering well after his ordeal.”

All London firefighters are trained to use defibrillators which form part of the first aid gear carried by all of the capital’s fire engines.

If you value what this story gives you, please consider supporting the East London Advertiser. Click the link in the orange box above for details.

Become a supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Latest from the East London Advertiser