A FORMER Wrexham FC player suffered a heart attack while playing in a charity game at the weekend.
Darren Wright, 46, who played as a full-back for the Reds between 1986 and 1991, collapsed after appearing for a Wrexham Veterans team against Mold Alexandra in a fundraising game at Alyn Park on Saturday.
Wright, from the West Midlands, is now recovering after an operation to remove a blockage.
Wrexham FC chief executive Don Bircham, who played in the weekend fundraiser for Nightingale House Hospice, said Wright left the field complaining of chest pains.
“Fortunately there was a qualified nurse in the crowd who was excellent in looking after him until the ambulance quickly arrived and took him to the Maelor Hospital in Wrexham.”
Ex-Wrexham player and manager Dixie McNeil took Wright’s son with him to the hospital and his wife travelled to the Maelor from the Midlands.
Mr Bircham added: “Darren was made very comfortable at the Maelor and given pain relief before being transferred to Broadgreen Hospital in Liverpool for an operation to clear a blockage.
“He’s on the mend now and in good spirits. When he’s fully recovered, Darren and his family will be invited to the Racecourse to watch a game.”
McNeil, who signed Wright for the Reds in 1986, said: “I’ve spoken to Darren’s wife and she said they have a put a stent in, and he’s fine.
“She said it’s hereditary and she’s very thankful it happened where it did.
“The family are thankful to the NHS for all the treatment he’s received and their brilliant, quick response.
“I went back to see him and you would think nothing had happened. He’ll be off work for a month, on tablets and that will probably be the end of his football but at least he’ll be alright. I wish him well.”
On the Mold Alex website, club chairman Barry Couchman said: “We are pleased to report that, following being taken to hospital by ambulance after the charity game, Darren's condition has improved.
“We would like to say thank you to Darren for playing in the match and wish him all the best for a full and speedy recovery. I would also like to say thank you to those present, especially Jackie Jones, that attended to Darren until the ambulance arrived.”
A Welsh Ambulance Service spokesman said they were called shortly before 4.30pm.
“A paramedic in a rapid response car and a crew in an emergency ambulance attended, and a man in his 40s was taken to Wrexham Maelor Hospital,” they added.