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'I was dead for 12 minutes' - David Ginola opens up on near-death experience after Newcastle incident

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Newcastle United club doctor Paul Catterson (centre) is told by Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier and Newcastle United's Jamaal Lascelles (left) to assist a member of the crowd in the stands. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

Newcastle United club doctor Paul Catterson (centre) is told by Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier and Newcastle United's Jamaal Lascelles (left) to assist a member of the crowd in the stands. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

Newcastle United club doctor Paul Catterson (centre) is told by Tottenham Hotspur's Eric Dier and Newcastle United's Jamaal Lascelles (left) to assist a member of the crowd in the stands. Owen Humphreys/PA Wire.

David Ginola urged everybody to get CPR training after a fan collapsed during Newcastle’s Premier League match against Tottenham.

The game as St James’ Park was suspended for 20 minutes towards the end of the first half as the spectator received medical attention.

It was later confirmed by Newcastle that the person was stabilised and sent to hospital.

Ginola, who played 58 times for the Magpies, suffered a cardiac arrest during a charity match in France in 2016.

“[The incident] brings back some very weird memories,” the 54-year-old said in the Sky Sports studio during the stoppage.

“I have not been in the country for years and you have a heart attack in the stadium – it is a bit weird.

“I think a defibrillator helps massively. Having people being able to perform CPR helps massively. At the end of the day we should all be able to perform CPR to help each other.”

Ginola collapsed and fell into a coma more than five years ago. He was administered CPR on the pitch by fellow footballer Frederic Mendy.

“This is what saved my life,” added Ginola, who also played for Tottenham, Aston Villa and Everton. “The surgeon who operated said to me: ‘I did my job but I didn’t save your life, the one who saved your life is the one next to you on the football pitch’.

“Frederic Mendy and those guys had been told how to perform CPR and they did it for 12 minutes. I was dead for 12 minutes.

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“It is very important because otherwise the brain is damaged, even if your heart is saved.”

Former Newcastle midfielder Kieron Dyer was also appearing as a pundit for Sky Sports and he added: “When you do your coaching badges it is compulsory you learn your first aid.

“We have to learn CPR and know where all the defibrillators at the training ground are because having that bit of knowledge will save lives.”


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