'He died three times': Group of Aston Villa fans administer life-saving CPR after Leicester game

By ITV News Central Production Journalist Charlie Horner

A group of Aston Villa fans have told ITV News Central how they delivered cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to a man who they found "with no pulse" following a football match.

Jamie Canning, Joe Tilley and Andrew Middleton were heading back to their car on Upper Sutton Street after the game when they discovered the man - who was "slumped in his driving seat".

As they got closer they said they realised another fan, who they now know as Gary Paul, was attempting to perform CPR with one hand through the drivers side window of the small Peugeot sports car.

Gary says when he first saw the man in the car he couldn't understand why it had stopped in the middle of the road.

"Both of the windows were down, his head was back and he appeared to be looking in his mirror" he said, before adding: "the car behind was getting quite frustrated."

Gary goes on to explain: "I realised he was unconscious but I couldn't get the door unlocked so I just started to pump his chest through the window."

"That's when he first came round, he started coughing and spluttering, but then he must have died again."

Together Jamie, Andrew, Joe and Gary managed to drag the unconscious man out of the car and lay him on the ground.

Gary Paul was enjoying the game on Sunday (5 December) with his partner. Credit: Gary Paul

"We all just happened to be in the same place at the right time"

It was at this point Keith Draper, who manages a football club in Bromsgrove and was parked up the hill from the group, noticed what was going on and ran to help.

"I always park on the same road, same street, every game" says Keith, "but when I got back to my car after the match I realised someone had left their hand break off and they'd gone into the back of my car."

"It was as I bent down to examine any damage that I noticed a man being dragged from his car. I thought it was a car jacking at first so I went to see what was going on."

Keith joined the group and, when he realised what was happening, started taking turns to administer the life-saving CPR to the man.

"That's the moment of vulnerability that we all hope we're never in, but we all hope that if we're in it, regardless of what's happened to us someone will try and take care of us and help us."

Joe said: "It was panic at first really".

He adds: "Someone said to put him in recovery position but Jamie was quick to say there's no point putting him in recovery position if he hasn't got a pulse, so we quickly put him on his back."

Andrew adds: "Nothing can prepare you for seeing someone like that".

He said: "That's the moment of vulnerability that we all hope we're never in, but we all hope that if we're in it, regardless of what's happened to us someone will try and take care of us and help us."

He continued: "It all happened so quick, Jamie started giving him chest compressions first, then I did, then Joe started doing it as well."

"The paramedics were first class. The precision and care those people work with is amazing"

The four men continued to give CPR and they were joined by a health care worker who took hold of the man's head and motivated them to continue the chest compressions.

The men say that it was a "group effort" and while they were doing CPR, someone else around them was calling an ambulance.

"It's just an act you should do as a human" says Jamie, who is a football coach and trained in CPR. "It's so important for everyone to know they can do this."

When the ambulance arrived it took three attempts with a defibrillator before the man finally responded. "I thought he was gone, he was dead when I got to him" says Keith.

"The paramedics were first class" says Andrew, "within seconds they had his jeans cut, they had a vein and they were giving him adrenaline.

Andrew adds: "The pads were on in seconds - the precision and care those people work with it's amazing."

Andrew, Joe and Jamie describe walking away from the ambulance and how the whole event was a "complete contrast" to how they felt when they were walking from the ground earlier in the night.

"Walking from the ground to where it all happened we were all reminiscing about the game, buzzing about the game, and then when we were walking afterwards we just weren't talking, it was like we were in a trance, it's surreal really," says Joe.

The group say as they were performing CPR a lot of fluid was coming from the man, so as they walked away from the scene back to their car they asked a policeman for some hand sanitiser.

When he asked why and they told him he "put his arms around everybody and brought everyone into a group hug", which they describe as "such a weird moment but such a nice moment".

Gary Paul and the other fans left Sunday's game in good spirits following a 2-1 win over Leicester. Credit: Gary Paul

Keith says he stayed with the man, who they believe was in his late 50s or early 60s, and he was responsive when he was put the ambulance.

"The guy was dead when I got there" says Keith, "but a group of strangers tried to help him and hopefully now he's OK.

"You would not believe the difference between when I found him and when he was in the ambulance."

Keith says he was told by emergency services that the group had saved the man's life and that he would be taken to Birmingham City Hospital to recover.

The five men are now keen to find out how the man is doing and are urging anyone who might know him to get in touch.

"It would be nice to know if it had the desired outcome and he's alive and well," adds Andrew.