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Family of Barnsley FC volunteer who suffered cardiac arrest at stadium praise club’s response

A man who collapsed beside the pitch ahead of Barnsley’s clash with Burton Albion ‘would not be here now’ were it not for the the club’s rapid response, his family has said.

Stephen Croft was airlifted to Sheffield’s Northern General Hospital after suffering a cardiac arrest, and his family said last night he was stable but in a poorly condition.

The air ambulance lands at Barnsley's Oakwell Stadium after a matchday volunteer had a cardiac arrest (pic: Barnsley FC)

The air ambulance lands at Barnsley's Oakwell Stadium after a matchday volunteer had a cardiac arrest (pic: Barnsley FC)

Barnsley FC said Stephen is a long-serving club volunteer and a popular member of the match day staff.

READ MORE: ‘Football does not matter in a situation like this’ – Barnsley FC sends best wishes to man who collapsed at match

A statement published on the club’s website said: “Stephen is exceptionally well thought of and today’s news has devastated the staff, as well as the community of Barnsley.

“We would like to place on record our sincerest thanks to everyone connected to Burton Albion FC for their help and swift action in assisting Stephen during the incident.”

In a statement, Stephen’s family said: “The family of Stephen Croft would like to sincerely thank the Burton players and both clubs officials for their rapid response to Stephen’s collapse just before today’s game.

READ MORE: Barnsley FC v Burton Albion match called off after man falls seriously ill

“He is now stable but in a poorly condition in Hospital, at Sheffield Northern General. Without  their rapid response, he would not be here now.  

“The family would like to thank both sets of fans for their dignity and understanding. This sort of incident brings out the best in people and that can be seen today in the stands and on the pitch at Oakwell. They are a credit to both teams.  

“The family are humbled by the messages of support already received. 

“It goes without saying we can all be proud of our ambulance services including the air ambulance, who we all couldn’t thank enough.” 

Barnsley FC added that Stephen remained in a serious condition and the club would update supporters when appropriate.