NEWS

OCTOBER 27TH 2017

Refereeing reservist rescues player during match

Sergeant Darren Drysdale   picture courtesy of Tina Jenner

Sergeant Darren Drysdale. Picture courtesy of Tina Jenner.

An RAF Reservist based in Lincolnshire made the headlines last week after potentially saving a player’s life during a Football League match.

RAF Waddington based Intelligence reservist, Sergeant Darren Drysdale came quickly to the aid of Chesterfield’s Brad Barry whilst refereeing their League Two clash with Morecambe on Saturday, October 14 after the right-back fell to the ground and appeared to swallow his tongue after being accidently hit on the temple by an opponent’s boot.

Referees are usually discouraged from physical contact with the players they’re officiating but after quickly realising the danger Brad was in, Darren swiftly placed the player into the recovery position to ensure his tongue did not block his airway.

Afterwards Brad told Chesterfield FC’s official website of the first half incident: “I’m fine. It was just a boot to the side of the head and my eyes went black and my tongue was down my throat, but when the referee moved me it came back up.”

Sergeant Darren Drysdale in action. Picture courtesy of Tina Jenner

Sergeant Darren Drysdale in action. Picture courtesy of Tina Jenner

Darren, who has officiated in the Champions League and FIFA World Cup, said: “Even though you’re not supposed to touch injured players, when I saw he was in distress the survival mechanism in me just kicked in and I had to move him to do what I could to stop him from swallowing his tongue.

“I spoke to the player as we were walking off for half time, to explain my actions and he thanked me.”

Flt Lt Steve Spreckley, Intelligence Reserves Wing Headquarters, RAF Waddington, said: “The knowledge and skills that our reservists acquire throughout their training and career can be called upon at any time.

“The quick thinking and application of such training that Sgt Drysdale showed is a testimony to this and he should be very proud of his actions that ultimately could have saved someone’s life.”

“The knowledge and skills that our reservists acquire throughout their training and career can be called upon at any time."