Kempston Rovers goalkeeper in stable condition after mid-match cardiac arrest

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A goalkeeper who plays for Kempston Rovers is recovering in hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest on the pitch in a Southern League Central Division One tie against Hadley on Saturday afternoon (27 April).

The game was abandoned shortly after Jack Marshall, 20, had collapsed towards the end of the first half.

Paramedics were called, with Hadley confirming on their ‘X’ commentary feed that Marshall had been taken to hospital by ambulance once he was, “stable and in good hands”.

Speaking to Bedford Independent on Monday morning, Kempston Rovers manager, Richard Keil was highly complimentary of everyone involved with helping Marshall in the incident.

“From the officials to my physio Elliott to the supporters, everyone involved was really quick to react. The officials were excellent in getting everyone needed on to the pitch as quickly as possible.

“When my physio reached Jack [Marshall], his ICD had kicked in almost immediately and we managed to get an ambulance onto the pitch in good time.

“I would strongly persuade anyone to take a basic first aid course as you never know when you may find yourself in a position like the one we were faced with.”

Clubs from across the non-league game responded to brief statements from Kempston Rovers and Marshall’s family on ‘X’ on Sunday night, wishing him well.

What is an ICD?

According to the definition provided by the British Heart Foundation, an Implantable Cardioverter-Defibrillator, otherwise known as an ICD, is a small device which can treat people with dangerously abnormal heart rhythms.

An ICD sends electrical pulses to regulate abnormal heart rhythms, especially those that could be dangerous and cause cardiac arrest. 

An ICD became better known in the world of football, after Danish midfielder Christian Eriksen collapsed in a Euro 2020 group stage fixture against Finland at the Parken Stadium in Denmark.

More locally, Luton Town’s Tom Lockyer is still recovering after collapsing twice. Once in the Championship play-off final against Coventry in May 2023 and again against Bournemouth in December later that year.

Both players are now fitted with ICD’s.

Marshall’s family wanted to thank everyone involved in what they say was a scary incident at Hadley Football Club near Barnet. They paid particular thanks to the referee and his two assistants who responded quickly and admirably, helping save precious time.

Everyone at Bedford Independent also wishes Marshall a speedy recovery.