Wigan footballer Charlie Wyke has revealed the shocking severity of his recent collapse during training, admitting that he suffered a cardiac arrest and would have died were it not for the ‘quick response’ of his club manager.
The 28-year-old striker was taking part in a training session ahead of the League One side’s 2-2 draw at Cambridge United on November 23 before he suddenly collapsed and was rushed to hospital.
Wyke’s condition was not known until today, when he revealed that his manager, Leam Richardson, saved his life by ‘initiating the resuscitation process’ before the team’s doctor, Jonathan Tobin, took over and administered more emergency first aid.
Incredibly, Wigan’s staff had only received CPR training weeks before Wyke’s collapse, meaning it was fresh in Richardson’s memory.
After their initial response on the scene of his collapse, Wyke was rushed to the Royal Albert Edward Infirmary in Wigan and then transferred to the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital.
Wigan striker Charlie Wyke (left) has revealed the quick actions of his manager Leam Richardson (right) saved his life after he suffered a cardiac arrest during a training session
Wigan’s club doctor Jonathan Tobin (right) then took over after Richardson has applied CPR
In an emotional statement released online, Wyke thanked Richardson and Tobin, saying: ‘I will be forever grateful.’
He said: ‘First and foremost, I just want to stress my sincere appreciation to the Club’s medical staff and the NHS staff who have cared for me after I was taken into hospital last week. In particular, I would like to mention Dr. Rob Cooper from the Liverpool Heart and Chest Hospital for everything he has done for me over the last week or so.
‘I feel it’s important to tell my story to our supporters and to the wider public, because my life has been saved by the actions of the gaffer [Leam Richardson] and the club doctor Jonathan Tobin, and my story may well save another life.
‘As you are aware, I collapsed during training on Monday. I suffered a cardiac arrest and required CPR, and I am told it was only the quick response of the gaffer to initiate the resuscitation process and then the continuation from the Doc that saved my life.
‘I will be forever grateful that due to their actions – and those of my team-mates and other staff – I am here to talk to about the experience.
‘Thankfully, just a few weeks ago, the training ground staff had received CPR training, which has clearly proven to be life-saving with the way in which the gaffer reacted to my collapse and initiated the CPR on the training pitch. I think that sends out a message of just how important it is that coaches and staff have that training.
‘The support from my teammates over the last few days has been incredible; the gesture to celebrate with my shirt at Plymouth just goes to show what a top group of lads we have here at Wigan. I’ve heard the fans singing my name when I’ve been watching the games from hospital too, which has been amazing to hear – I’m really thankful for that support.
‘I have received thousands of messages from supporters of all of the Clubs I have played for, the wider football community and beyond, and the well-wishes have meant the world to me and my family. It was a real boost for me to see the photo of my former teammates at Sunderland wishing me well – a class touch from a great set of lads.
‘I’m looking forward to going home to my son, partner and friends and family for the next few days.
Wyke (pictured right in August) suffered a cardiac arrest during the training session
Wyke’s Wigan team-mates show their support for their team-mate during their pre-match warm-up before their League One clash with Plymouth Argyle last month
‘I can’t wait to get back to the training ground next week to see the lads, where I will start some light training that begins the process of hopefully being able to get back to full training with the team next year.
‘Thank you for all of the support. Charlie.’
Wyke is the third player in recent weeks to have problems while out on the pitch.
Sheriff Tiraspol’s Adama Traore fell to the ground clutching his chest and was immediately substituted during their Champions League tie with Real Madrid last month.
And Sheffield United’s victory at Reading a day earlier was stopped for more than 10 minutes after John Fleck collapsed unchallenged. Fleck was rushed off to hospital.
Sheffield United midfielder John Fleck was rushed to hospital after collapsing on the pitch
Adama Traore of Sherrif Tiraspol went down clutching his chest in the Champions League
Fleck has been given the all clear by specialists following his collapse on the pitch.
Fleck’s team-mates immediately called for medical assistance and the 30-year-old received 10 minutes of urgent treatment on the pitch at the Madejski Stadium on Tuesday night before being transported to Royal Berkshire Hospital.
After remaining conscious in hospital for around 12 hours, Fleck was released, and pictures on Wednesday on the club’s official account showed him running in training.
Christian Eriksen ‘returns to his old side Odense to use their training ground with his personal coach’ as the Denmark international builds up his fitness after suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch at Euro 2020
Christian Eriksen is using the training ground of his former side Odense as he continues to build up his fitness in a bid to return to professional football.
Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest at Euro 2020 on the pitch as Denmark played Finland.
He received life-saving treatment on the pitch at Copenhagen’s Parken Stadium and has been monitored closely in the past five months as he works on his rehab back home in Denmark.
As of Wednesday, Danish publication BT detailed that Eriksen was using the facilities at Odense’s Adalen training facility.
He did not train with the first team squad but was able to use the facilities to work out with his personal trainer.
Christian Eriksen has been working on his recovery in Denmark after his cardiac arrest (pictured: warming-up in training for Denmark during Euro 2020)
Eriksen had a cardiac arrest in June, playing for Denmark against Finland at Euro 2020
Denmark players circled Eriksen so he had privacy while he was being treated on the pitch
‘We are really happy that Christian Eriksen is keeping in shape right now on our courts,’ Odense’s sports director, Michael Hemmingsen, told BT.
‘We have kept in touch with Christian since he left Odense, and therefore we are happy that he asked us if he could retrain in Adalen.’
BT’s report details that Eriksen was on one of the training pitches at 8am and was involving kicking the ball in some of the drills.
It is reported that he is focused on cardio work but is also incorporating a ball to some parts of his workouts.
Eriksen remains a contracted player with Italian champions Inter Milan but due to regulations in Italian football it appears unlikely he will ever play for the club again.
Eriksen was fitted with a defibrillator, meaning it is unlikely he can play for Inter Milan again
Rules in Italy state that people that have been fitted with a defibrillator, such as Eriksen, are not allowed to play contact sport.
He spent six days in hospital following a further six days of treatment, which included him being fitted with an ICD (implantable cardioverter defibrillator).
The ICD is connected to the heart by wires and sends an electrical pulse in order to correct irregular rhythms.
The Danish midfielder has played 60 times for Inter since joining the club from Tottenham 18 months ago. He helped the Italian side win their first Serie A title in 11 years last season.
During his time playing in England, Eriksen turned out over 300 times for Spurs in a six-and-a-half year spell in north London.
Eriksen, 29, was in hospital receiving treatment for six days before being released back in June
The 29-year-old could theoretically continue his career in another country, with different rules, and the decision for him to continue his rehab work back home in Denmark has been viewed in Italy as a sign he will not return to Serie A.
Eriksen’s ties to Odense are strong having been at the club before moving to join Ajax in Holland at the age of 16.
Odense is convenient also as Eriksen is said to have a house close to the training ground where he lives with his girlfriend and two children.
Eriksen is yet to officially confirm that he is planning to return to professional football.
Footballers with defibrillators
Anthony van Loo, Roeselare: The Belgian defender was allowed to continue his career after being fitted with a defibrillator. It shocked his heart back into a normal rhythm after suffering cardiac arrhythmia during a match. He retired in 2018, aged 30, as he felt he could not return to his old performance levels.
Fabrice Muamba, Bolton: Former Arsenal midfielder Muamba’s heart stopped for 78 minutes but eventually made a recovery.
He retired five months later without having returned to football. He did however play 15 minutes in Ian Goodison’s testimonial match
Daniel Engelbrecht, Stuttgarter Kickers: The striker collapsed on the pitch against Erfurt but returned to the professional game aged 24 after 17 months, against numerous doctors’ advice.
He scored against Wehen Wiesbaden, becoming the first footballer to score with a defibrillator. However, he retired in 2018 to move into coaching when he found out the device had brought him back to life three times.
Daley Blind, Ajax and Holland: Blind was fitted with a pacemaker after complaining of dizziness in a Champions League match against Valencia in December 2019.
He subsequently collapsed in a friendly against Hertha Berlin in August 2020 but has generally enjoyed a safe return to top-level football.
Christian Eriksen, Inter Milan and Denmark: Eriksen collapsed on the pitch at Euro 2020 earlier this summer. Although he has recovered, strict Serie A rules mean he cannot play in Italy and current club Inter Milan must sell him.
He may choose to continue his professional career elsewhere, or retire.