London, UK (October 30, 2018)—BT Sports sound engineer Simon Daniels is being hailed as a hero after coming to the aid of soccer legend Glenn Hoddle, who suffered a heart attack and collapsed at a London television studio on October 27—coincidentally, his 61st birthday.
Daniels, a television and radio sound supervisor who has worked at BT Sports since 2013 and for seven years at the BBC before that, is also a special constable (a part-time police volunteer) with Thames Valley Police. According to interviews in the UK press, he said that his first-aid training “kicked in” and he sprang into action, providing CPR and a defibrillator as they waited for paramedics to get to the television studio.
“I’m not a hero, I was just doing what I was trained for,” Daniels told BBC News. “I was just trying to preserve life. It didn’t really cross my mind that it was Glenn Hoddle.” Another ex-footballer, Paul Ince, appearing as a pundit alongside Hoddle on BT Sport show Saturday Morning Savage, reportedly raised the alarm.
Hoddle, considered by many to be the best footballer of his generation, famously played for Tottenham—winning the 1981 and 1982 FA Cups with the team—as well as Monaco, Swindon and Chelsea, the latter two as player-manager. He played 53 games for the England national team and, as manager, led them to the second round of the 1998 FIFA World Cup, where they lost on penalties to Argentina. Hoddle subsequently managed the Southampton, Tottenham and Wolverhampton teams before becoming a TV pundit.
Daniels was praised by Hoddle’s family after he performed emergency first aid then used a defibrillator before paramedics arrived at the east London studios. “I’m touched by all of the comments from Glenn’s family and those in the football and broadcasting world. My thoughts are with Glenn and his family and I hope he continues his recovery,” said Daniels. “I also want to praise the medical staff who were outstanding.”
“Simon you were a hero to us all yesterday, will never forget it,” tweeted show host Robbie Savage later in the day.
“[S]o pleased that Glenn is now getting the best care possible in hospital. Just did what was necessary to give him a fighting chance. Thoughts are with his family. It was my training as a Special Constable that paid off,” Daniels tweeted in reply.
Hoddle is recovering but is said to be in “serious condition,” according to a statement from the hospital where he is being treated.