Unexpected arrival of air ambulance causes a stir at Saffron Walden Town Football Club

Air ambulance on the pitch at Catons Lane.

Air ambulance on the pitch at Catons Lane. - Credit: Archant

THE chairman of Saffron Walden Town FC proved he was a man of many talents last week – successfully marshalling an air ambulance into land on the Catons Lane pitch.

With half an hour to go until the start of an under 18 match, Melvyn Seymour sprang into action when he noticed an East Anglian Air Ambulance pilot circling the ground in search of a make-shift helipad.

The helicopter had been alerted to an emergency call in a nearby street and was dispatched with a paramedic on board shortly after 7pm on Tuesday, August 20.

Drawing on 24 years of experience working as a marshal for BAA at Stansted Airport, Mr Seymour gave the pilot the ‘OK’ to land and guided him down with the use of hand signals.

He told the Reporter: “The teams were just going out to warm up when I saw a helicopter circling above us. I could see the pilot was looking for somewhere to land so I gave him the signal that he could do so on the pitch.

“He got the aircraft down safely and a paramedic was quickly picked up by a police car and taken to a house up the road.”

A spokesman from the East of England Ambulance Service confirmed that a woman in her 40s had been taken to Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge after collapsing.

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He said the victim was in a “potentially serious condition” and had been transported by land ambulance.

Kick-off of the under 18 match between Saffron Walden and Woodford was delayed following the air ambulance’s unexpected arrival.

“It caused a bit of a stir,” Mr Seymour added. “People were coming down to the ground to find out what happened. The helicopter was there for about 40 minutes before the pilot said he was being called back to Cambridge.

“I helped him get off the ground and off he went. The match was only delayed by about 10 minutes.

“I told the opposing team’s manager the air ambulance hadn’t been called because we’re especially hard tacklers, just in case he got the wrong idea! He just laughed.”