CARDIAC arrest footballer Mark Moore has been reunited with his lifesavers.
The Longlevens FC player collapsed on the pitch and owes his survival to a group of paramedics playing on an adjacent pitch.
His heart was shocked back into life – at the ninth attempt - and he had an emotional reunion with the men responsible. It comes as football fans in the city shout up about their sport’s place in Gloucester’s affections.
Mark had just scored when his heart stopped during a match in August 2012. Luckily, there were plenty of other players out enjoying a kickabout that day, including a team of paramedics on the adjacent pitch.
Thanks to their quick thinking and the defibrillator carried by a rapid responder, Mark’s heart was shocked back into life – at the ninth attempt.
Mark returned to action in his club’s final game that season.
His incredible story featured on BBC One programme, Real Lives Reunited this week.
Mark was replayed the emotional 999 call made by a friend on the sidelines.
In the programme he said: “I really shouldn’t have the opportunity to say what a brilliant job they done and to say thanks.”
James French, who manages Longlevens AFC, said although rugby may be number one, there is no doubting the popularity football still holds across the city.
“Football is as popular as ever in Gloucester,” he said.
“There are plenty of teams, although the standard dips a bit outside of the two main clubs at Tuffley and Longlevens.
“If football wasn’t as popular as it is, then Mark would probably not be with us today.
“It is because there were other teams playing at the same time as his match that help was on the scene so quickly.”
James added: “Mark tried to come back again in pre-season, but his defibrillator kicked in when he had another irregular heartbeat.
“He has had to retire from playing as a result but now runs our reserve team and they are doing really well.
“The community has rallied around the club and Mark during his recovery. That alone show how strong the links are with football in Gloucester.”
A double footballing success story in Nailsworth is the rise of Forest Green Rovers and Shortwood United.
In Nailsworth, the Rovers have soared through the football pyramid to develop into a club on the rise with a genuine ambition of making a dent in the football league.
Propped up by the cash of green energy tycoon Dale Vince and his Stroud-based Ecotricity firm, the Rovers currently lie in 15th spot in the Skrill Football Conference.
And this season, Shortwood reached the FA Cup first round for the first time in the club’s 114-year history, knocking out Conference side Aldershot Town.
A record attendance of 1,247 saw United beaten 4-0 by League Two side Port Vale.