Leam Richardson: Wigan boss who gave Charlie Wyke CPR stresses need for first aid training

By Simon StoneBBC Sport
Leam Richardson Charlie Wyke
Charlie Wyke (right) was fitted with a defibrillator before being discharged from hospital

Wigan manager Leam Richardson wants to reinforce the call for people to have CPR training after striker Charlie Wyke credited him with saving his life.

He reacted fastest when Wyke, 28, collapsed in training on 22 November after suffering a cardiac arrest.

Only three weeks earlier Richardson was given CPR training at the club.

"It is important that we make as many people aware as possible that the training is out there," he told BBC Sport.

The incident was one of a number over the past few weeks, with matches at Newcastle, Watford and Southampton all halted as fans required treatment.

Thankfully, all survived.

Richardson added: "If the person next to you, or two seats behind you has the knowledge to save someone's life and this interview or Charlie's situation can save another life in the future, it is worthwhile talking about it. It is something I will be mindful of and be trying to drive in the near future."

'It was in slow motion'

Richardson describes seeing Wyke collapse as "a surreal, out-of-body experience".

It was then that his training kicked in.

"Everything is like slow motion isn't it?" he said. "You put into practice what you have been told and just hope you are doing the right thing. You are hoping you have the tools and the mindset to deal with the situation."

Richardson's reactions meant Wigan doctor Jonathan Tobin, who was also on duty for Bolton the night Fabrice Muamba collapsed during an FA Cup quarter-final at Tottenham in 2012, was able to take charge until an ambulance and fast-response paramedic team arrived.

"Mark, the paramedic at our club, had put a session on for cardiac respiratory training and first aid," said Richardson. "It is never a good thing, but three weeks later it was getting put to use."

Family more important

Wyke is now back at home with his wife and son and is due to visit Wigan's training ground on Tuesday to see his team-mates.

Will Keane
Wigan striker Will Keane held Charlie Wyke's shirt after scoring against Plymouth

It is not entirely clear at this stage whether Wyke will be able to play again.

And while Richardson accepts it is natural that the former Sunderland forward, who joined Wigan in the summer, will be targeting a comeback, he believes there are more important issues to focus on than football.

"It is great being a footballer," he said. "I had the privilege myself. Only a small percentage are able to do that.

"But it is even better to go home to your children and your family and give them a cuddle. Thankfully Charlie has been able to do that."

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