THE LIFESAVING actions of three tennis players has been recognised.

Clive Thurtell was playing tennis back in January when he collapsed, suffering a massive heart attack.

But his friends and fellow players leapt into action, calling for the emergency services but also giving lifesaving first aid.

Happily, Mr Thurtell has made a full recovery.

Three members of the Hyde Real Tennis Club, based in Walditch – Mark Brinson, Simon Lamb and Chris Huxley – were presented with Royal Humane Society Awards by Clive at the annual club dinner.

The recognition came about thanks to club secretary Ian Potter, who applied to the RHS, who then agreed to issue the certificates.

The presentation took place at the Riverside in West Bay on Saturday, November 18.

Mr Potter said: “Clive had been playing against Mark Brinson when he collapsed to the floor. 

“Mark and Simon with Chris, who had both been watching the game rushed to his assistance. He appeared lifeless and was not breathing. 

“They gave mouth to mouth and commenced CPR and called for an ambulance. They made use of the club defibrillator and managed to get a reaction from Clive – they continued CPR until the ambulance arrived who took over. It was found that Clive had suffered a massive heart attack and they had saved him.”

Mr Potter added that the club has had a defibrillator, in association with the South West Ambulance Trust, for several years.

He described the players’ actions as ‘amazing’ and said that Mr Thurtell had made a full recovery - and is back on the tennis courts.

“I was a policeman for 30 years and during that time I resuscitated five people, and sadly lost a few. It was something that was expected of me because of my profession.

“But in this case it was three ordinary people - a teacher, a builder and an architect - and I thought it was just such a tremendous thing that they did that they deserved recognition.

“I was delighted when the Royal Humane Society said they would grant the certificates.”

The Royal Humane Society is a charity that grants awards for acts of bravery in the saving of human life and also for the restoration of life by resuscitation.

A spokesman said: “Awards may be granted to those who have put their own lives at risk to save or attempt to save someone else. The awards granted for these acts of bravery include bronze, silver and gold medals and testimonials on vellum or parchment.

“The Society was founded in London in 1774 by two eminent medical men, William Hawes and Thomas Cogan, who were keen to promote techniques of resuscitation. It became apparent that people were putting their own lives in danger rescuing others and awards were given in recognition of these acts of bravery. This remains the purpose of the society today.”

More than 560 awards were handed to lifesavers across the country in 2016.