Man City fan collapse sparks debate over crowd safety

By Victoria Hornagold

An incident at the Manchester derby this weekend has sparked fierce debate over whether medical emergencies among fans are increasing.

The debate comes after a supporter collapsed during the 35th minute of the Man City Man Utd clash, when the home team lead 2-1 at the Etihad.

Fans alerted players by gesturing and whistling toward the dugouts, before referee Michael Oliver stopped play.

The supporter was then taken to hospital and play resumed three minutes later.

Former England star Trevor Sinclair gained attention after suggesting that the number of serious incidents in the stands has increased in recent years.

Adrian Durham, talkSPORT host, responded: “Not a subject on which to speculate without expert knowledge.”

The tweet included a report by the Sports Ground Safety Authority, which concluded “cardiac deaths among fans attending games is nothing new”.

Crowd doctor Tom Horne also gained attention for his twitter thread on fan safety:

He has since spoken to Quays News to shed light on his experience as a crowd medic, saying: “A German study found one cardiac arrest every 400,000 fans. That’s not unusual, probably slightly higher than what you would find in the public.

But when you think about the fact there is 400,000 at the Premier League every weekend, you would expect a cardiac arrest to happen.

Most of the time these events happen, they’re not in visibility of the pitch. At half time or ten minutes before kick-off after somebodies climbed to the top of the stairs. And then there is no publicity.

The nature of football menas people are more excited than other times. They might have had a drink, be a little overweight or climbing lots of stairs.

There is no evidence that I’ve seen that there’s a significantly higher risk of an adverse at the football.

There is evidence that if you do have an event at the football, your chance of recovery is significantly higher than if you at home. The most important thing is you get defibrillator access and that happens within minutes at a football pitch and that you get good CPR.”

Tom said that every club will have their own protocol and there is no specific guideline for stopping the game.

He added the advice from the Safety Advisory Group is if the game can continue, then it should continue.

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