Irish nurses among spectators rushed to aid of collapsed hurler

Irish nurses among spectators rushed to aid of collapsed hurler
18 June 2018; London’s Brian Regan with the Christy Ring Cup during the unveiling of the Joe McDonagh and the launch of the Christy Ring, Nicky Rackard and Lory Meagher Cup Finals at Croke Park in Dublin. Photo by Piaras Ó Mídheach/Sportsfile

By Damian Dolan

London hurling captain Brian Regan is in “good spirits” and recovering in hospital after he collapsed on the pitch at McGovern Park, Ruislip, and was revived by CPR.

It happened during Kilburn Gaels’ senior hurling championship fixture with Robert Emmetts on Saturday.

“He’s in good spirits; he’s sitting up and chatting away,” Kilburn Gaels manager Tom Bergin told the Irish World, having visited Brian on Sunday.

“He was in good form and realised himself that he was lucky.”

Brian was this week undergoing tests to find the cause of his collapse.

“We won’t know anything until the tests come back. How it happened or why it happened, we don’t know,” added Bergin.


Brian’s parents travelled over from Gort in Co Galway to be with their son.

He collapsed just before half-time and was treated on the pitch by physios and several nurses, who had been in the stand to watch the game.

“Without their help it could have been a very different outcome,” said Bergin.

CPR (Cardiopulmonary resuscitation) was administered and a defibrillator used before the first of five ambulances arrived quickly on the scene at 4:46pm. They continued to treat Brian on the pitch.

Bergin added: “There was a quick response from the ambulance and an even quicker response from the girls (nurses) in the crowd, who realised what was happening and very quickly ran on to the field to take charge of the situation and kept it going until the ambulance came.”

Brian was able to sit up as he was given oxygen when he was carried into an ambulance in which he was taken to Harefield Hospital at 5:11pm.

Brian Regan in action for Kilburn Gaels. Photo: Sheila Fernandes

Spectators gave a spontaneous round of applause as the ambulance was driven across the pitch.

On Sunday morning, Kilburn Gaels tweeted, “Best of luck to Brian Regan and we all hope you have a good recovery’.

On Saturday evening the club tweeted, “Get well soon Brian Regan! Like Sutton said, don’t ever do that again”.

Robert Emmetts tweeted, “Sending best wishes to @KilburnGaels Brian Regan for a speedy recovery from all in the @R_EmmettsLondon club”.

In April 2012, Kilburn Gaels player and fellow Gort native, Cathal Forde collapsed and died of Sudden Adult Death Syndrome (SADS) during a training session in Highgate. He’d been part of the Kilburn side which won a senior title on 2010.

“We’ve been through that ourselves before once already, so to even think about it happening for a second time……you couldn’t think about it really,” said Bergin.


One of London’s longest-serving players, Brian captained London to a Christy Ring Cup final this year.

He was selected on to the Galway senior hurling panel in 2012 on the back of helping Gort win a Galway senior title the previous year.

Brian made his London debut in 2013 and capped his debut year by helping the Exiles win promotion to Division 2A with victory over Meath in the 2B final.

The centre back has also won London senior county titles with Kilburn in 2017 and 2014, and helped the club reach an All-Ireland club intermediate final in 2015.

Last Saturday’s game was abandoned by referee Mattie Maher, with Emmetts leading at the time by 1-15 to 0-3, and has been re-fixed for this Saturday (6 October) at Tir Chonaill Park in Greenford. Throw in is 3:30pm.

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