Three separate events around football stadiums and studios in England yesterday have triggered well-wishers worldwide to send condolences and proven that no matter what team you support, football is a sport for all and perhaps the largest extra-curricular community in the world.
Glenn Hoddle Heart Attack
Ex England player, coach, and current national pundit Glenn Hoddle was in the BT Sport studio ahead of Saturday’s fixtures, where he is a regular commentator and trusted pundit after spending over four decades on the pitch, sidelines and in the dugout.
Celebrating his 61st birthday, a video has surfaced of Glenn enjoying a game of one-touch with fellow ex-pro Paul Ince. Apparently moments after the video ends, Hoddle was overcome with breathing difficulties and suffered a heart attack.
A member of the BT Sport crew performed life saving CPR before paramedics arrived on the scene and rushed him to a London Hospital. The stations Saturday Result’s show was subsequently cancelled and his co-presenters were quick to send their thoughts and prayers via Twitter.
Worst experience of my life. Praying for the gaffer and his family. Huge thanks to all the crew at @btsportscore and especially Simon who performed a miraculous job today.
— Paul Ince (@PaulInce) October 27, 2018
Despite the seriousness of his condition, thanks to the quick response of the emergency services the football legend is doing well in hospital.
According to spokesman, “[Hoddle’s] condition is serious but Glenn is receiving specialist treatment and responding well”.
Brighton Fan’s Tragic Death While Son Looks On
Fifty miles South of London and Brighton Hove Albion are hosting Wolverhampton Wolves at the Amex stadium.
However, shortly before kick off, an elderly Brighton fan attending the game with his son is taken seriously ill.
Unfortunately despite attempts by local paramedics, the unnamed fan wasn’t able to recover. “Brighton and Hove Albion are saddened to report that an elderly supporter who was taken unwell ahead of today’s game against Wolverhampton Wanderers, has died.” The statement came by way of the clubs official website.
KingPower Chopper Crash
Hours later, one hundred miles North of London, consistent underdogs Leicester City entertain West Ham and the game ends in a 1-1 stalemate. As usual after home games, the clubs owner, Thai billionaire Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha, greets fans and departs the stadium from his personal helicopter, taking off from centre of the pitch.
As the ground empties and the BT Sport pundits wind down the show from the King Power Stadium, the helicopter can be seen preparing for take off. Moments later an almighty crash, caught on the studio microphones, can be heard
At around 2030 BST the helicopter crashes down in the Stadiums car park, engulfed in flames. Apparently in difficulty immediately after take-off, the chopper was caught in a spin and hit the ground at speed. Speaking to Sky News, Leicester fan John Butcher said: “As we came out, we saw my nephew, who saw the helicopter lose control, start spinning and hit the ground within a second, and just exploded. We’ve all seen the flames, the smoke.”
Leicester City are said to be working closely with the emergency services to determine who exactly was on board at the time, but so far the details are hazy. Eyewitness reports the clubs goalkeeper, Kasper Schmeichel, was one of the first on the scene moments before a handful of security staff rushed to the downed chopper.
— Tyrone J Francis (@TJFrancisLive) October 27, 2018
A Tragic End To An Exceptional Resurgence
Businessman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha took over the club in 2010 and was instrumental in the sudden resurgence of the Foxes, claiming the biggest underdog story in recent years, managing to win the Premier League in the 2015-16 season against all the odds.
A true fan favorite and an honorary Leicester-man, although no official reports have surfaced of those onboard, fans and eyewitnesses seem certain that their owner was on the helicopter and tributes have been pouring in from around the world.
Another son of the club, former player turned national pundit and presenter of Match of the Day, Gary Lineker was quick to send his condolences and presented the evening football recap show in a sombre manner.
As the dust settles and the world waits to hear the names of those on board, the football community seems united in belief that no matter what team you support, nobody deserves to travel to a game and not make it home.