Chelsea fan reunited with medical student who saved his life at match

Prince Tandukar (left) and Paul Archer (right) reunited at the Chelsea training ground Credit: PA

A Chelsea football fan has been reunited with the St John Ambulance youth volunteer who saved his life with CPR after he went into cardiac arrest at a game.

Lifelong Chelsea fan Paul Archer, 66, collapsed at Stamford Bridge during a match against Manchester City in November before volunteer first aider Prince Tandukar, 22, arrived on the scene.

Doctors said it was “a miracle” that Mr Archer survived as he was clinically dead for 20 minutes.

The pair smiled and hugged as they were reunited after being invited as VIP guests to the Chelsea training ground in Cobham, Surrey.

Mr Archer said: “Prince – what an apt name. I am so grateful to be able to thank this impressive and humble individual. You may have broken all my ribs – but I love you for it.”

Paul Archer met several footballers with his sons Nick and Ben Credit: centre

Recalling the incident, Mr Tandukar, a third-year medical student at the University of Buckingham, said: “I was pitchside by the barrier near the press pen when I heard panicked shouting and screaming.

“It was a mix of fans and security guards shouting for a medic, and I realised someone needed urgent help, so I ran up around 15 or so rows to where I could see a security guard waving.”

The medical student found Mr Archer slumped in his chair making short, sharp breaths and looking “very red,” he said.

He said: “I took his pulse and tried to stay calm, but it was very chaotic around me. I couldn’t find a pulse, so I tried for a pulse in his neck which is usually stronger, but nothing. Then the gasps stopped altogether and he slumped forward.”

He made the call to get Mr Archer to a nearby first aid room where he could begin CPR.

Mr Tandukar said: “It was a high-stress situation with a lot of fans shouting while trying to assess the situation.

“I was full of adrenalin and on my first compression I heard a pop and knew I had cracked Mr Archer’s ribs. This didn’t deter me as I knew this could happen and for CPR to work, it needs to be forceful. It was a sign I was doing it correctly.

“I was doing CPR solidly for around eight minutes or so, I think. I just went into the zone.”

Paul Archer went with sons Nick and Ben to Chelsea’s training ground Credit: centre

He thought of his grandfather who had died less than two weeks beforehand of a heart attack and Mr Tandukar believes “if someone in Nepal knew how to do CPR on him, he could have survived”.

A medical team including paramedic Billy Britton, from London Ambulance Service, stadium paramedic Charlotte Faulkner and stadium doctor Will Glazebrook also played a role in saving Mr Archer’s life.

The Chelsea Foundation invited Mr Tandukar, Mr Archer and his sons Nick, 41, and Ben, 34, to a community day at Cobham training ground to watch training and meet the players.

Mr Archer, a retired businessman, said: “I love Chelsea and it was the icing on the cake to say thank you to the individuals who saved my life at the training ground.

“For Prince to reflect on his grandad while saving me, while he brought be back – just wow.”

St John Ambulance chief commissioner Ann Cable said: “St John is enormously proud of Prince for his fast response and putting into practice his first-aid skills to save Mr Archer’s life.

“Our amazing volunteers work hard to keep football fans up and down the country safe but we would like more fans to take the time to learn CPR – a simple skill – that really does save lives.”

Sally Mills, of Chelsea Foundation, said: “It was fantastic to welcome Paul and everyone involved to the training ground as part of our community day.

“To see the smile on their faces when reuniting was something very special.”

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know…