OAP collapses at match

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THE family of a Wigan pensioner who suffered a heart attack in the final moments of Wigan Athletic’s 3-2 victory over West Ham have said a heartfelt thank you to those who helped him.

George Owen, 83, a season ticket holder from Pemberton, collapsed in his seat in the East Stand with fewer than 10 minutes remaining. But thanks to the immediate medical treatment he received, he is said to be recovering well.

The scoreline was 2-2 before the pensioner, who has been a supporter dating back to the early non-league days, collapsed.

Mr Owen, a former chief electrical engineer at Heinz, was sitting with his wife, Martha. Husband and wife Andrew and Linda Maloney sit next to Mr Owen and were two of the people who the family say saved his life.

Mrs Maloney said: “I felt a tap on my arm and it was Martha asking for help. George had slumped back in his chair and had stopped breathing. We managed to get the attention of the stadium staff and St John Ambulance crew and they brought a defibrillator.”

Mr Owen is said to be comfortable and was yesterday sitting up in his bed. He cannot recall any of the day’s events and cannot understand why he did not see the game.

His daughter, Lynn, who was in the South Stand, said she was very grateful to those who helped her father. She added: “The reaction was absolutely superb. The medical team and stewards did a fantastic job and I would like to say just how thankful we are for what they did. Mr and Mrs Maloney helped save his life,. We just can’t praise everyone involved enough for their help.”

Jonathan Jackson, Wigan Athletic Chief Executive, said: “The medical team and the stewards did a first class job. All our best wishes go to George for a speedy recovery and we hope to see him at the DW Stadium next season.”

Defender Emmerson Boyce ‘tweeted’: “With great joy & happiness, I am glad to report that the person who had a heart attack at the game survived and is recovering well.”