Clerkenwell medical volunteer awarded at Lord’s Cricket Ground

John at work at Lord's

John at work at Lord's - Credit: Archant

St John helper is thanked by chiefs at Lord’s

A Clerkenwell-based St John Ambulance volunteer has joined the ranks of cricketing greats after being feted by top brass at Lord’s Cricket Ground.

John Newman, 66, who works out of the charity’s national head quarters in St John’s Lane, Clerkenwell, has been handed a special certificate in recognition of 25 years of life-saving work at the home of cricket.

Mr Newman, who has attended all major matches at Lord’s since 1988, was handed the certificate by chief executive of the Marylebone Cricket Club Derek Brewer during a ceremony at the ground.

Mr Brewer said: “How grateful we all are at MCC for the excellent service, outstanding skills and commitment provided by St John Ambulance at all our games here.

“We’re particularly grateful to John for 25 years of sterling service.”

During his years at the ground John has been instrumental in improving healthcare for people attending sporting events throughout the capital.

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Acting on behalf of cardiologist doctor Tom Evans, he was responsible for developing London’s first St John Ambulance Cardiac Units.

This group is now trained to provide advance life support at major events including Test Matches and One Day Internationals at Lord’s.

Earlier this year, John was forced to put his training into speedy practice when a man collapsed with cardiac arrest during the England v New Zealand test match.

Negotiating crowded stands, John and the team managed to get to the patient within seconds and restore his heartbeat with a defibrillator before he was raced to hospital where he later fully recovered.

Despite the numerous life-saving actions he has undertaken in his quarter century at the ground there is one incident that sticks in his mind above all others.

During an England test where the home team was playing poorly, an opposing batsman hit the ball to the boundary rope where it bounced into the air just yards from where he sat.

John said: “As a proud player for Epping Cricket Club, I took the ball in a clean catch and threw it back to the England player who had been chasing it.

“Ian Botham remarked during his TV commentary that even the old St John Ambulance man was fielding better than England.”