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Family of football fan from the Vale of Belvoir who suffered heart attack before big FA Cup tie thanks lifesavers

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The family of an elderly football supporter who suffered a heart attack outside a ground in King's Lynn wants to say thank you to people who saved his life.

"There is no doubt that their actions kept my dad alive," said Robert Evans. "Without them he wouldn't be with us today."

Norman Evans, from Kinoulton in the Vale of Belvoir, who has just turned 80, was heading for the Walks stadium to watch King's Lynn play Walsall on Saturday as part of a birthday treat planned by his family.

Norman Evans recovering in hospital (52959945)
Norman Evans recovering in hospital (52959945)

He was there with Robert and his grandson Samuel, aged 21, and while they were heading for the ticket office at around 11.45am Norman suddenly collapsed.

"He said he felt dizzy and I caught him before he hit the ground. He was motionless and I really thought he had gone.

"But two men rushed over, one calling the ambulance and the other doing CPR on dad until the stadium manager and St John Ambulance arrived.

"The men were probably both in their sixties but when I turned round they had gone. There was no chance to thank them and the ambulance crew said that without question their CPR saved dad's life."

Robert said that the ambulance crew got Norman breathing again and drove to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital but then diverted to Norwich where there is a specialist heart unit.

Robert and Samuel followed to Norwich where Norman was taken to the coronary care unit.

"He is still at Norwich," said Robert. "We are waiting for test results but he is sitting up as if nothing has happened and we are hoping he will soon be able to go home. He is even determined to follow Walsall to the next FA Cup round when they play Swindon in December."

The trio had been travelling around the country to FA cup matches, following each winning team.

They had seen Lynn beat Peterborough Sports in the fourth qualifying round last month and were looking forward to watching them against Walsall.

They were aiming to go to each FA Cup round. It was Norman's idea and the family agreed to take him as an 80th birthday present. They had already been to earlier rounds including matches at Dunstable, Barking, Bedford and Market Harborough.

The former pit worker is retired and had a mild heart attack in 1997 but this one came out of the blue, said Robert.

"I still have flashbacks of him laying there and it was awful for Samuel. He and his grandad are very close."

Robert and Samuel, from Derbyshire, and Norman's wife Elizabeth, aged 79, all want to express their gratitude to everyone who helped at the scene.

"The stadium manager and St John, who acted so quickly, a BBC crew, the paramedics and ambulance crew, and the two strangers who rushed over when dad collapsed and then disappeared. They were heroes. We can't thank them enough," said Robert.

He says Norman is also determined to come back to Lynn in the future to say a personal thank you to the people at the football ground, the paramedics and the ambulance crew.

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