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Ipswich Town fan to return to Portman Road - 11 days after suffering cardiac arrest

PUBLISHED: 10:00 30 April 2016

Ralph Crich suffered a cardiac arrest at Ipwich Town's home game against Fulham on April 19. He has since made a speedy recovery and will be going to watch ITFC against MK Dons tomorrow.

Ralph Crich suffered a cardiac arrest at Ipwich Town's home game against Fulham on April 19. He has since made a speedy recovery and will be going to watch ITFC against MK Dons tomorrow.

When Ipswich Town fan Ralph Crich left Portman Road 11 days ago, he was, in his own words, nearly dead.

Ralph Crich suffered a cardiac arrest at Ipwich Town's home game against Fulham on April 19. He has since made a speedy recovery and will be going to watch ITFC against MK Dons tomorrow.
Ralph Crich suffered a cardiac arrest at Ipwich Town's home game against Fulham on April 19. He has since made a speedy recovery and will be going to watch ITFC against MK Dons tomorrow.

Suffering a cardiac arrest five minutes into the second half against Fulham, the 48-year-old’s life was in the hands of paramedics who battled for around 40 minutes to save him.

Despite the scare, the Capel St Mary father-of-two will tomorrow return to his Cobbold Stand seat to cheer the Blues on in their final home game of the season against MK Dons.

Mr Crich, a self-employed electrician, said: “I want to see the stewards’ faces when I walk back in – when I left I was nearly dead.”

The season ticket holder, who takes his daughter, Mollie, and her friend Chloe Catling, both 14, to matches, was suffering from ventricular tachycardia during the game – meaning his heart was beating abnormally fast.

Ralph Crich suffered a cardiac arrest at Ipwich Town's home game against Fulham on April 19. He has since made a speedy recovery and will be going to watch ITFC against MK Dons tomorrow. Ralph's football shirt had to be cut open by the paramedics.
Ralph Crich suffered a cardiac arrest at Ipwich Town's home game against Fulham on April 19. He has since made a speedy recovery and will be going to watch ITFC against MK Dons tomorrow. Ralph's football shirt had to be cut open by the paramedics.

“I had several tops on and I could see my heart vibrating,” said Mr Crich, who got through the first half, but admitted he was not feeling his “normal self”.

Five minutes into the second half, Michelle Liberty and Claire Mclaughlin-Rusher, friends of Mr Crich who sit nearby, decided to get help for him.

Medics told him that, at one point, they measured his heart at 250 beats per minute.

He added: “They said, in order to slow down a heart like mine, you have to pretend you’re going to the toilet.

“So I pushed once and nothing happened. I did it twice and I was gone. I was out for 10 minutes.”

And Mr Crich, who is married to Amanda, and also father to 17-year-old Joe, thanked his friends, the stewards and the medics for their help that night.

He said: “I’m so lucky it happened at the football. People were there with me. Had I been sitting at home, my family would be planning my funeral now.”

Since the incident, and a operation to install a pacemaker, Mr Crich – who also had a heart attack three years ago – has been in high spirits. He will be presenting an award to one of the players before today’s game.

He said: “It’s going to be a fun day. I’m glad nothing is riding on it – it’s just a game.

“If I feel as well as I do today, I could be taking penalties!”

Town v MK Dons match preview – from Back Page

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