Swansea City fan: 'I had heart attack before Chelsea cup game - but medics kept me up to date with the score'
WHEN Swans fan John Beynon made his way to the historic Capital One Cup semi-final last week and suddenly felt unwell, he put it down to indigestion.
Huddled up in the back of his car, he was convinced he would be better at the end of his journey from Ammanford to the Liberty Stadium and ready to watch his team's showdown with Chelsea.
But when he got there, his health had deteriorated to such an extent that he was taken to Morriston Hospital after suffering a heart attack.
The former football referee said: "We'd left Ammanford at 5.30pm because the roads in Swansea were bad. I became ill when I was going around picking people up, so someone else volunteered to drive. I huddled up in the back of the car, hoping what I thought was indigestion would get better."
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But Mr Beynon, 66, said that when he got out of the car at the stadium, the cold air hit him.
"We went into reception and I sat on one of the lounge seats while my friend went to speak to the club secretary, Jackie Rockey," said Mr Beynon, of Hopkinstown.
"She phoned the club doctor, Dr Jez McCluskey, who came with his medical team to check me over. They did a few checks and said it was pretty bad, but reassured me and called St John Ambulance."
Mr Beynon was taken to Morriston Hospital, still unaware he'd suffered a heart attack.
"Tests were carried out which confirmed that an artery was blocked and I'd had a heart attack in reception," said Mr Beynon.
"I had a new kick-off time of 8 o'clock — that's when my operation began. A specialist team, who had only just gone home after a day's work, were reassembled."
Mr Beynon said the team, directed by consultant Mark Ramsey, kept him updated on the match. "At 10pm I was told that both objectives had been realised — my op was a success and the Swans were through to Wembley. At least I didn't miss any goals."
The attack was a shock for Mr Beynon, who had never before taken a tablet in his life.
"I keep myself pretty fit and thought my diet was pretty good too," he said. "I didn't suspect a heart attack, even though I am first aid- trained."
Mr Beynon first watched the Swans in the 1950s with his father after moving to Ammanford from Birmingham, and has been a season-ticket holder for 20 years.
He has already made plans to get to Wembley and was told by the doctor his heart could now be stronger as a result of the attack. He thanked all those involved in his recovery after he was released at the weekend.
"I can't speak highly enough of them, they were all brilliant," he said.