A Bolton firefighter and a photographer were among the fans who desperately tried to help a lifelong wanderers fan during Saturday's Bolton Wanderers game.

Off-duty firefighter James Bracegirdle said that paramedics gave him “the best chance possible to survive” and he is saddened to learn that the fan had tragically died

Iain Purslow, 71, was at the Wanderers game against Cheltenham Town when he suffered a suspected cardiac arrest around 30 minutes into the game at the Toughsheet Community Stadium.

Bolton North firefighter James  says that he was about 10 rows back from where Iain was when he saw the crowd around him, and thought it was something serious.

James was off duty at the time, but says it is in his nature to respond to incidents like this, and he followed his instincts.

He said: “I could hear the crowd shouting ‘help’.

“It’s just in my nature, and I went across to help, and by this time the gentleman had collapsed.

“We managed to get him away from the stand and give him the best possible chance of surviving.”

Amongst those who tried to help Iain was Lee Parker, a photographer and former paramedic who started chest compressions and was first on the scene.

James helped attached the defibrillator.

James says that he was able to get a response with the defibrillator, but Iain sadly went back into cardiac arrest, and paramedics took over.

James said: “There was a surgeon and a GP, and others who were trying to assist, whilst the stewards were moving people away because it’s not nice if people aren’t used to seeing it.

“I am a human being, but I am used to seeing this scenario, after doing it for 30 years it becomes second nature.

“We couldn’t have done anymore or responded any quicker because he got an immediate first aid response, and I thought we all did a really good job.

“From the photographer to the surgeon to the paramedic, they did their job and gave the gentleman the best chance possible to survive, and it’s just so sad this has happened.

“I feel sorry for his family and the supporters.”

James also says that he does not recall seeing this at the stadium as a long time season ticket holder and says that incidents of this nature are becoming more common on and off football pitches.

More defibrillators have been installed across Bolton and training is often provided in the use of them and in CPR.

He added: “If I can assist and further help train anyone at the stadium, then I will.”

Fellow Wanderers supporters Andrew Openshaw, and Paul Rushton have since set up a GoFundMe page to try and help Iain’s family cover funeral costs.

Andrew said: “As Bolton Wanderers fans we just thought we would get as much money as possible for the funeral or a headstone to help them out.

“I know how much funerals can cost.

“No one should go to a football game and not go home.”

In 24 hours of only setting up the GoFundMe page last night, with a target of £2,000, the football fans  raised £785.

Andrew says that fans in a Wanderers fan Facebook group, that he runs with Paul, are working on a song for him.

Andrew said: “We want to try and get more than £2,000 if we can.

“When I was at the stadium, fans were crying their eyes out.

“When fans went on the pitch to get attention, we knew how serious it was.

“It wouldn’t have been right for them to continue the game.”

To help support Iain’s family click here (www.gofundme.com/f/lets-help-iains-family-with-funeral-cost).

At today's game players will don black armbands and a minute's silence will be held ahead of kick-off.

To celebrate Iain’s life, a round of applause will also take place in the 71st minute of the game – the age Iain was when he died.

If you have a story and something you would like to highlight in the community, please email me at jasmine.jackson@newsquest.co.uk or DM me on Twitter @JournoJasmine.