TWO first aiders and a student nurse saved a dad-of-three who suffered a suspected heart attack at a charity football match.

The man, 53, had been taking part in the game at Colchester United’s stadium before he collapsed in front of his partner, children and colleagues.

Spectators thought he had suffered a seizure but then he stopped breathing.

First aiders provided by the football club and the teenage student dashed to his aid and stabilised him until air and land ambulances arrived.

Marie Lightbody, dealership PA at Lancaster Toyota in Colchester, which hosted the match, said: “Our brand director Neil Roscoe called the ambulance but the first on the scene were the two first aiders from Colchester United.

“They were absolutely fantastic.

“I think they saved his life. They had a defibrillator kit with them so were able to shock him.”

The drama unfolded around 7pm on Tuesday.

Relatives of staff at the Lancaster Toyota were invited to see the new dealership which has just located from Gosbecks Road, Colchester, to Axial Way, before going to watch the game.

Teams Toyota Lancaster and Toyota GB were playing in aid of Whizz Kids, a charity partner.

The man was playing in central midfield for the Toyota Lancaster team as he works there as a service advisor.

Mrs Lightbody said: “He had been substituted about half way through the game.

“He was sitting down and the next thing he had sort of fallen and had a heart attack.

“His partner and three children were there, his eldest son was playing in the game.

“Everybody rallied around, I went and spoke to his partner and kids - she was beside herself and the police took her to the hospital.”

An air ambulance was sent to the football ground but the man was taken by land ambulance to Colchester General Hospital.

He was then airlifted to Basildon Hospital where he is said to be stable.

See today's Gazette.