Jim Bentley: Morecambe boss helps fan who fell ill at club gala

Terry Ainsworth and Jim Bentley
Morecambe fan Terry Ainsworth (left) with team manager Jim Bentley

Riding in an ambulance and staying in A&E until 04:00 with a fan who collapsed at a club gala dinner might not be in the job description of a football manager.

But Morecambe boss Jim Bentley came to pensioner Terry Ainsworth's aid after he fell ill on Saturday evening.

"We had a taxi ordered so I went to say goodnight to Jim, who had invited me," Ainsworth told BBC Lancashire.

"Suddenly I felt dizzy and unwell and I don't remember anything else."

Luckily, 41-year-old Bentley was on hand to catch Ainsworth after he passed out and accompanied him to Lancaster Hospital until the early hours of Sunday morning.

"Over my lifetime, even when I was at primary school, every couple of weeks I would pass out in assembly but those episodes got less frequent," he explained.

"I've passed out in some unusual places like Morecambe Promenade Station, a maternity ward and I've walked into a glass door as I couldn't see, but it's seven or eight years since I have had an episode."

"It's what anyone would do"

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Bentley has an excellent relationship with Morecambe's fans, who last season organised a collection to pay a £1,000 fine imposed on him by the Football Association, but said his actions after Ainsworth collapsed were simply a case of doing the right thing.

"I wouldn't say I'm a hero, it's what anyone would do. The way he collapsed, I'm not going to let him go, am I?" the former Morecambe defender told BBC Lancashire.

"I was there for him and I reassured him when he came round and I went with him, because he's a mate of mine. I did [think he was a goner]. He giggles about it now but it was that serious, seeing him collapse.

"I'd seen the twitches in his fingers and I thought that was the end of him but thankfully he's still here and he's fighting fit today and looking well."

'An absolute hero'

Happily, Ainsworth has made a full recovery and he is fully appreciative of Bentley's support.

"I feel great, no after effects at all. I'll never forget the few hours in A&E," he added.

"It was incredible to see my mate in his dinner suit and he was an absolute hero in that situation.

"All the nurses and doctors fed off him. They must have had the best night they've ever had. People were giggling and laughing even after he'd gone."

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