A Fine Line
Assistant referees running the line at football matches have to be prepared for the unexpected – taking over the whistle if the referee is unable to continue for instance. But there is the unexpected and then there is the UNEXPECTED. Just ask a Mr Zharir Mustafa who left his line during an Evo-Stik NPL match between Trafford FC and Colwyn Bay to administer life-saving treatment to a stricken player. Trafford FC forward Danny Frost suffered a serious head injury and swallowed his tongue after he collided with a barrier mid-way through the second half. Mr Mustafa was closest to the incident and he quickly realised there was not a moment to lose: “The player was not breathing when I got to him and I had to open his mouth, pull his tongue out before getting him breathing again. I put him in the recovery position,” he said. He was not the only hero in attendance however. According to the footballer’s father Gary, Trafford physio Jake North “lay on a soaking pitch for 50 minutes supporting Danny’s head”. It did the trick. Danny was later taken to a local hospital where after a once over he was given the all-clear and allowed to return home. Mr Mustafa said: “When Danny was put in the ambulance, his dad Gary was quite emotional and he hugged me, that is when I realised the impact I had made on the player and his family…I was in the right place at the right time, I don’t see myself as a hero, the player is the hero for recovering.” Gary Frost doesn’t see it that way however: “You sir, are a hero,” he said. All in a day’s work for the assistant referee.