Glenn Hoddle — England legend on how he ‘died for 60 seconds’ during cardiac arrest, ‘smashed head on floor’ and had seven ribs broken

The former England manager’s heart stopped for a minute at the end of a live BT Sport show on his 61st birthday in October.

Host Robbie Savage yelled for help as sound engineer Simon Daniels raced to Glenn’s aid.

Hero Simon had to break seven of Glenn’s ribs as he desperately pounded his chest to bring him back to life.

Glenn revealed: “My heart stopped for at least 60 seconds. I was gone.

“The engineer ran to me and brought me back to life. I wouldn’t be here if not for him. It just wasn’t my time to go.”

The ex-Spurs and Chelsea hero suffered the cardiac arrest while guesting on the Live Saturday Morning Savage show.

He said: “Robbie and I had been playing the keepy-uppy game (chipping a football back and forth on to a table tennis table) at the end of the programme.

“Robbie said that after the credits rolled I was just at the moment of volleying the ball back to him when I fell backwards and smashed my head on the floor.

“It’s ironic that if I had died, the last thing I would have done on this earth was kick a ball. What a way to go!

“It could have happened on live TV. The timing of everything on the day was incredible.

“Robbie thought I was messing around with him when I fell to the floor.

“We had been having banter. Then he stopped laughing and thought I might have swallowed my tongue.

“But he soon realised something very serious had happened.

“He couldn’t do anything, so started shouting for help.

“Thank God first-aider Simon was nearby and got to me so quickly.

“If he had been in the toilet, or left the studio, or not on duty, I would not be here to tell my story.

“He performed chest compressions and fitted a defibrillator on my chest to keep me alive.

“Simon is a mild-mannered guy and was apologetic afterwards because something kicked in during the emergency and he was ordering everyone about.

“He told strangers ‘Do this, do that’. He is a volunteer policeman and was embarrassed.

“It goes without saying if my cardiac arrest had struck on the golf course, or when I was watching Spurs play in the Netherlands a few days earlier, I’d be a goner.”

Glenn’s fall had medics fearing that he had suffered severe brain damage.

He added: “I bumped my head so badly that that was their first concern. My head was so black it looked like I had been burned.”

“They were worried about my brain. Only after that did they sort my heart.”

His condition was regarded as so critical that an air ambulance took him the short distance from the studios in Stratford, East London, to the Royal London Hospital in Whitechapel.

Paramedics had arrived at the scene after just six minutes, and their swift response was crucial in saving Glenn’s life.

He said: “It keeps hitting me in waves, how lucky I am despite everything. The stars were aligned in many, many different ways.”


Cardiac arrest: How to do CPR

The Spurs legend has asked us to share the charity’s advice on what to do if you witness somebody suffering a cardiac arrest.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to act if you see anyone collapse:

  • SHAKE & shout, and check for normal breathing. If the person is unresponsive and not breathing, they are having a cardiac arrest so you need to . . .
  • CALL 999 and shout for help and a defibrillator.
  • START CPR as soon as possible. This involves 30 chest compressions followed by two rescue breaths. Repeat until an ambulance arrives.
  • IF someone brings a defibrillator before the ambulance arrives, open it and follow the instructions until paramedics reach you.

And here are the British Heart Foundation’s Dos and Don’ts:

  • DO Check your environment for danger before you do anything. You don’t want to put yourself at risk.
  • DO start CPR as quickly as possible. CPR helps to keep blood pumping around the body, delivering oxygen to vital organs including the brain, which will die otherwise.
  • DO keep performing CPR until an ambulance arrives. If you’re feeling tired and there’s someone nearby to help, you can take turns.
  • DON’T worry if you’re not trained. You can still save a life with CPR, and the 999 operator will talk you through what to do.
  • DON’T delay starting CPR while you go looking for a defibrillator — without CPR the person will die so call 999 and perform CPR until the emergency services arrive.
  • DON’T be put off by the rescue breaths; hands-only CPR is better than doing nothing.

After scans by medics at the Royal London revealed Glenn had not suffered brain damage, he was transferred by ambulance to St Bartholomew’s Hospital in central London.

The dad of three said: “The first thing I recall after my cardiac arrest was a fleeting moment in the back of the ambulance as we switched hospitals. I came around, opened my eyes and my saw my son Jamie holding my hand.

“He lives in London and was able to be by my side very quickly. I managed to squeeze his hand before slipping unconscious again. It settled him down. No one knew what the outcome was going to be.

“The next thing I recall is sitting up in my hospital bed later that evening. I came around and saw my loved one (partner Lisa Curtis).

“I was so groggy and confused by everything. I didn’t know what day it was.

“I was talking a load of rubbish and trying to embrace the doctor thinking he had saved my life. I didn’t realise the studio engineer Simon had brought me back from the brink. But I’m just so grateful to everyone.”

Engineer brought me back to life… I wouldn't be here without him

Earlier that day, October 27, Glenn had celebrated his 61st birthday with pals in the studio.

He added: “It was some birthday. My gift to myself was a second lease of my life.

“I had felt fine, absolutely tickety-boo. It was a normal day.

“I was given a cake and joked about the numbers being the wrong way around. But I just don’t recall any of it.

“It’s so strange but the last thing I remember was a lizard being brought into the studio for a fun segment marking (fellow guest) Harry Redknapp’s pending jungle adventure on I’m A Celebrity.

“When I first told medics the lizard was the last thing I remembered, they all thought I was crazy.

“It’s odd how I can’t recall anything after this moment leading up to the attack.”

Glenn, England boss from 1996 to 1999, has been astonished by the public response to his ordeal.

He said: “I have been inundated by well-wishers. My mind has been blown by the goodwill towards me.

“When I am out trying to build up strength on one of my walks I have drivers beeping their horns and giving me the thumbs-up, and people stopping to say ‘Hi’.

“I was unaware of all the attention and scrutiny about what happened. I am so humbled by it, and grateful.

“It’s uplifting, and getting so many positives has been a big part in my recovery.

“Despite what happened to me, I feel the luckiest man alive. I’m so grateful to still be here.”

Footie pundit Glenn welcomed news last month that the Government was making it compulsory for CPR and defibrillator use to be taught in schools from next year.

He said: “I was very happy to hear that news. What’s more important than saving a life?

“I’m so glad that the Government has decided to look at this with a view to adding it to the curriculum.

“There should be some sort of medical training early on in schools, because it will never leave you. I want to help bring about this change.”

Glenn’s trauma has already inspired his employers BT Sport and ITV to update their workforce’s first-aid training. They have also increased the number of defibrillators available at all their outdoor broadcasts.

And as well as returning to work, and the golf course, Glenn is so determined to turn his ordeal into a force for good that he has teamed up with the British Heart Foundation.

They are aiming to raise funds to buy defibrillators for grass-roots football clubs across the UK.

Glenn said: “I want to save lives with this campaign. I am going to be working with the British Heart Foundation to raise awareness of the project and to provide the equipment and training in the most small and basic football clubs.

“None of us know when we might need a defibrillator to save a life.

“Football has been my life and this is a way for me to be a positive force and give something back to the game that has treated me so well.”



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