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Arsenal goals prompt heart attacks at Emirates Stadium

PUBLISHED: 07:03 06 December 2011

Emirates Stadium

Emirates Stadium

Archant

»Every year at the Emirates Stadium at least one fan has a heart attack when a goal is scored.

A senior medic at Arsenal matches has revealed people suffer attacks every season when the excitement is too much for them.

The medical team that looks after 60,000 fans – made up of St John Ambulance volunteers – has performed life-saving rescues by restarting hearts in the ground.

Alex Snow, who leads the team, said: “When there’s a lifelong Arsenal fan who is now a pensioner and they score a really crucial goal, it can be quite a lot of excitement and can trigger attacks.

“We have had heart attacks because of goals and restarted their hearts in the stadium. There’s about one or two a season. It happens every year and it’s quite often after a goal.”

The Highgate Division of the SJA, based in Giesbach Road, Archway, provides the main medical care at the Emirates, for matches or concerts.

Mr Snow said: “We have 40 or 50 staff spread around the stadium. It’s never quiet with 60,000 people there, there’s always someone not well.

“A lot of it is very minor but it’s important that we’re able to provide that care. Quite often we treat people and they can return to the match.”

Mr Snow was speaking after he was handed the President’s Adult Leadership Award by the Highgate team, where he is deputy unit leader.

The 27-year-old lawyer, who grew up in Essex Road, Islington, has been with the team since 2003 and gives up more than 1,000 hours a year.

He added: “Winning the award was wonderful, but I can only do that job because of all the other volunteers. And it’s not all glamour. We also do school fetes and other community events. That’s the main reason we volunteer.”

n Anyone who would like the support of the SJA at their event can e-mail operations@highgate.sja.org.uk.


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