A football fan saved the life of a fellow supporter and friend after realising the man’s absence from the terraces during a game was a bad omen.
Raymond O’Rourke was worried about the welfare of Edward Fry, known as Ted, who had not returned his phone calls and failed to attend their beloved Wealdstone FC’s not-to-be-missed match on Easter Saturday against Kingstonian at Grosvenor Vale ground in Ruislip.
Home fans were in celebratory mood because it was the first home fixture since the side had clinched the league title the previous Tuesday with a 1-0 victory away at Margate FC.
Mr O’Rourke’s concern was raised further when he had still not heard anything a few days after the game and so the Good Samaritan went to Mr Fry’s house in South Harrow, and found the elderly fan semi-conscious in his bedroom.
Mr Fry, who is believed to be in his 70s, is still in hospital and was eager to hear news of his side’s league-winning performance this week.
Mr O’Rourke, 50, of Bonnersfield Lane, Harrow, said: “We have been going to the games together for a number of years.
“I didn’t get any reply when I rang him to see if he wanted a lift.
“I was trying him on the phone so we went to see if he was OK. It is something that anyone would have done.
“The neighbour had a key so helped us to get in.
“We are not sure how long he was on the floor. He couldn’t get to the phone to get help. I went to see him in hospital and he was still talking about football although he is still a bit under the weather.”
Raymond’s brother Tony, 51, lives in Derby in the East Midlands but was brought up in Harrow and is still a Wealdstone FC fan.
Tony said: “Ted has been going to the matches for many years and my brother couldn’t get in touch with him and he was worried about him.
“I would have said that Ted would be fine but my brother didn’t leave it at that so he travelled to South Harrow to visit his house and there were letters piled up outside. When they went in Ted was semi-conscious, lying by the side of his bed.
“Ray travelled there off his own back to make sure Ted was OK.
“When he found out he wasn’t, he didn’t leave it at that.”
The O’Rourke brothers know Mr Fry because he worked with their father Michael for many years at the Kodak factory in Harrow.
Tony said: “When Ted woke up he asked about the Wealdstone game.
“I am just really proud of my brother, our old friend Ted wouldn’t be here if he hadn’t done what he did.”
The game Mr Fry missed saw Wealdstone FC lose 4-0 to Kingstonian but the team had already been promoted as champions.
A spokesman for Wealdstone FC said: “We are all very sorry to learn of Ted’s illness and wish him all the very best.
“We are sure that knowing that Stones have won the Ryman League Championship will speed his recovery and we look forward to welcoming Ted down to the club next season in the Conference South when we can arrange for him to meet the players.”