"It's something terrible you don't want to ever see!" Craig Elliott continues to back defibrillator drive following 'heartbreaking' week for Boston United manager

Boss sends out best wishes to young footballer as scenes at Pilgrims' FA Youth Cup contest bring back sobering memories...

Craig Elliott. Photo: Oliver Atkin

Pilgrims boss Craig Elliott continues to back the drive to get defibrillators into sports grounds after a 'heartbreaking' week.

Boston United's FA Youth Cup contest at West Bridgford Colts was abandoned on Thursday evening after one of the host club's players suffered a cardiac arrest.

The unnamed player has been described as 'stable' after receiving medical treatment.

This situation is one Elliott is tragically all too familiar with after the death of his former player Dan Wilkinson.

Elliott was managing the 24-year-old Shaw Lane defender when he collapsed during a cup game at Brighouse Town, five years ago this month.

"It's heartbreaking. I know first hand with Dan Wilkinson. It was terrible and something I think about a lot," he said.

"My best wishes go out to the lad and everybody connected with the club, because it's such a horrible experience for everyone. It's something terrible you don't want to ever see.

"It's something I've been thinking about this week, it's the anniversary (of Wilkinson's death) and something always close to my heart."

Campaigns to get defibrillators into all sports grounds and schools were heightened this summer after Denmark's Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest during his side's Euro 2020 contest against Finland, a match which was being broadcast live across the continent.

"I like the drive to get defibs in as many grounds as we can, they do save lives," Elliott said.

"The big thing is to drive awareness and make sure these things don't happen again."

Elliott regularly makes a point of reminding his players to enjoy and make the most of their short sporting careers, Wilkinson's death among the factors playing its part in shaping his perspective.

"It's a short career. You just have to enjoy your life," Elliott added.

"Sometimes we get engrossed in this football world and winning and losing.

"You've also got to get that balance and remember why we enjoy it and how we got into it as young kids. It sobers you up when you hear news like this."

Freelance journalist Chris Williams, who was at Thursday's FA Youth Cup contest, offered an update about the incident on Twitter.

"The young player suffered a cardiac arrest on the pitch, and another in the ambulance on the way to hospital," he wrote.

"He's stable and being looked after."

On Thursday evening West Bridgford released a statement which read: "We can confirm that there was a medical incident tonight during our FA Youth Cup game against Boston United.

“Emergency services were called out to our Regatta Way Ground after a player became seriously unwell and they are now undergoing treatment in hospital.

“We would ask that you respect the privacy of those involved at this time and we will comment further when we feel it is appropriate to do so.”