Shinty players save referee's life after he collapsed on field

The incident happened at Castle Leod during the MacTavish Cup tie between Caberfeidh and Kinlochshiel.

Shinty players save referee’s life after he collapsed on field at Castle Leod during MacTavish Cup tie Neil G. Paterson

Shinty players worked together to save a referee’s life after he collapsed on the field just minutes after kick off in the Highlands.

Inverness firefighter Conor Cormack and his teammates sprang into action on Saturday when referee Steven MacLachlan collapsed on the pitch 13 minutes into the game.

The incident happened at Castle Leod during the MacTavish Cup tie between Caberfeidh and Kinlochshiel.

Mr Cormack, who is a colleague of Mr MacLachlan, told STV News that he and his teammates saw the referee collapse onto one knee and slump to the side.

Referee Steven MacLachlan officiates the toss-up before the start of the game.Neil G. Paterson

“I went over to see if he was okay, it was obvious he was struggling to breath and losing consciousness so I asked if we could get the defibrillator.

“By the time we’d gotten it Stevie had fully stopped breathing,” the 32-year-old said.

With the help of his teammate, Mr Cormack was able to save Mr MacLachlan’s life after administering two shocks with the defibrillator and “five or six” rounds of CPR.

Emergency services were called but by the time they arrived, Mr MacLachlan was conscious and speaking.

The Air Ambulance had landed on the shinty pitch and medical assistance was continued for the referee Steven MacLachlan.Neil G. Paterson

“It was a relief to bring him back round, we were worried he might go again but the ambulance arrived and took him to hospital”.

Mr Cormack said they were “really lucky” to have the defibrillator nearby and the incident highlighted the importance of the life-saving machines.

“Having the defibrillator saved Steven’s life. If that hadn’t been there we would be in a sorry place,” he said.

“If one good thing can come out of this, it’s that we can make more defibrillators available and get people trained to use them.”

Conor Cormack in action for Kinlochshiel.  Kinlochshiel v Lovat in the Artemis MacAulay Cup quarter final.Neil G. Paterson

Mr Cormack said that Mr MacLachlan messaged him on the Sunday after the incident to thank him and the others for saving his life.

“I couldn’t believe it when I got the message. I went up to the hospital and he is looking well.

“The doctors said they were pleased and hopeful he was going to make a decent recovery,” he added.

The firefighter said this wasn’t the first time he had been in a situation like this, adding: “You’re more prepared for it when you’re called out.

“Stevie is a colleague of mine, he works in training and it was just bizarre to have this happen to someone I know infront of me.

“Everyone just pulled together, my teammate Keith MacRae was amazing – all the players from both sides were brilliant, and so were the first aiders,” he said.

Area commander Michael Humphreys, Scottish Fire and Rescue Service’s local senior officer for Highland, said: “We are aware of a medical incident involving three members of our staff at an event in Strathpeffer at the weekend.

“We are extremely proud of the swift actions of those involved to support their friend and colleague and all individuals are being fully supported following this incident.”

In a statement posted to social media, a spokesperson for Caberfeidh Shinty Club said: “Everyone at Caberfeidh Shinty Club, Kinlochshiel Shinty Club and the wider Shinty family wish Steven MacLachlan a full and speedy recovery following his sudden health incident at Castle Leod earlier today.

“Steven received prompt and professional 1st Aid, including use of the defibrillator, on the pitch from players and officials prior to the arrival of the Scottish Ambulance Service and Air Ambulance .

“The Lucky2BHere defibrillator sits on the wall at the clubhouse day in, day out then did its job when it was needed.”

Scottish Ambulance Service has been contacted for comment.

STV News is now on WhatsApp

Get all the latest news from around the country

Follow STV News
Follow STV News on WhatsApp

Scan the QR code on your mobile device for all the latest news from around the country

WhatsApp channel QR Code
Posted in