A ‘fairly fit’ football boss suffered a heart attack in front of his players as they took part in a Zoom fitness session.
Brian McLuckie has spoken candidly about his brush with death saying it has made him reevaluate what is important in his life.
The 53-year-old manager of Irvine Victoria, which is based in Ayrshire, fell seriously ill at his laptop just seconds after joking to the players: “Bloody hell lads, I think I’m going to have a heart attack.”
His partner returned home minutes later and found Brian hunched in agony while his players carried on with the workout oblivious to what was happening to their boss.
He was rushed to hospital and just 90 minutes later he was on a hospital operating table where medics saved his life by inserting two stents after discovering one of his arteries was almost completely closed.
Brian’s players only found out the horror of what happened the following day after jokingly texting: “Gaffer, are you still alive?”
Brian, reliving his ordeal, he said: “It’s all come as a massive shock.
“I go to the gym quite regularly and travel a lot with my work, so I’ve always considered myself fairly fit.
“When the docs told me the artery has probably been like that for a while I couldn’t believe it.
“I’m so lucky my partner came home when she did or who knows what might have happened.”
Recalling the run up of events before he fell ill, he said: “I’d been joining in the session with the lads as normal but about halfway through I started to feel genuinely unwell.
“We were doing burpees and press-ups and I was really struggling. I’m normally okay with them so I knew something wasn’t right.
“I actually said to the boys as a joke, ‘bloody hell lads, I think I’m going to have a heart attack!’
“Not long afterwards I felt this incredible pain in my chest.
“It was unbearable but I managed to shut the laptop over so the players had no idea what was happening.
“My partner came in and found me walking about clutching my chest. She knew right away what was going on but the players didn’t have a clue.
“It wasn’t until the following day when I was recovering in hospital that I realised they’d sent me a Whatsapp message asking, ‘Gaffer, are you still alive?”
He spent two days in hospital following the February 1 scare and is now recovering at his home in Troon, Ayrshire.
He has yet to decide whether he will return to the dugout with the West of Scotland League club any time soon.
“Something like this really puts football into perspective,” he said.
“It’ll be six months before I’m back to full fitness and with the lower leagues suspended right now I’m not in any rush to make a decision about getting back into things.
“It’s something I’ll discuss with my assistant Mark McCann.
“At the moment, I’m just trying to take things slowly. I’ve been out walking and doing a wee bit of work from home.
“It’s definitely made me think about what’s important in life.”