Ex-Blues player home again after golf course health scare

KESGRAVE: Relaxing at his home John Peddelty is looking forward to getting back to normality.

The former Ipswich Town and Plymouth Argyle footballer is recovering back in Suffolk after a frightening experience on the golf course.

Having just retired from the police force, a profession he moved into after his football career, the 55-year-old was taken ill at Bury St Edmunds golf course and rushed to Adden-brooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge.

Pressure in his head and a subarachnoid haemorrhage was the diagnosis, a worrying time indeed.

That was a fortnight ago, today, and surrounded by get well cards and good wishes and on the road to recovery, John, who lives off Ropes Drive, Kesgrave, paid tribute to the professional staff and friends who had helped him through his ordeal.

“I’ve got so many people to thank,” said John, who during his football career played 44 times for Ipswich Town, netting five goals.

“Firstly, all the staff at Bury St Edmunds Golf Club, who coped so well and then of course the ambulance crew and all the professional people at West Suffolk and Addenbrooke’s Hospitals. I thank them all, as well as all my good friends and family.”

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John, who plays off a handicap of seven, felt ill during a round of golf in a Parks Trophy match between his side Rushmere and host club Bury St Edmunds.

“I came off the tee on the sixth or seventh hole and just said something like ‘oh my head’.

“I sat down and felt huge pressure in the back of my head. I was conscious throughout and the ambulance was there within minutes.

“I’ve had a couple of scans but the hospital couldn’t find exactly where the bleeding had come from. I have my own theories as I have had problems with my neck and discs before. I go back to hospital for a scan in September.

Despite being a professional footballer for seven years and a police officer for 28, it’s the sport of speedway that John is most passionate about.

And he will be no happier than to be back at Foxhall Stadium tonight, as Ipswich Witches entertain Belle Vue Aces.

“I’ve loved speedway since I was 11 when I used to watch the Cleveland Bears in the north-east and I always go to Foxhall,” John added. “I’ll be there and it will be great to be back.”

John has received get well messages from former Ipswich Town stars Bryan Hamilton, Eric Gates and former boss Bobby Ferguson.

And Ipswich Witches director Chris Louis said: “It will be great to see John back at Foxhall. He’s a loyal fan and has been so for many years. He is one of the ‘Back Straight Gang’ who sponsor a meeting once every season and we are grateful for his support and glad to see him back.”

n Do you want to send a message of goodwill to John Peddelty? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN.

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