Ref Taylor opens up for the first time on Eriksen's horror collapse
‘I could see there was something seriously wrong… it makes you realise how precious life can be’: Referee Anthony Taylor opens up for the first time on Christian Eriksen’s horror collapse on the pitch at Euro 2020
- Anthony Taylor was the referee when Christian Eriksen collapsed at Euro 2020
- Denmark were playing Finland when Eriksen suffered cardiac arrest on the pitch
- Taylor admits he instantly knew that something was seriously wrong with him
- Praise was placed on Taylor’s handling, along with Denmark captain Simon Kjaer
Anthony Taylor has revealed details of the night Christian Eriksen suffered a cardiac arrest for the first time.
The 42-year-old was widely praised for his swift response to Eriksen’s situation during Denmark’s European Championship fixture against Finland.
The former Tottenham midfielder was revived by CPR on the Copenhagen pitch, firstly administered by captain Simon Kjaer, and a defibrillator.
Anthony Taylor was the referee when Christian Eriksen collapsed at Euro 2020
The midfielder was surrounded by his distraught team-mates while medics worked tirelessly
‘It makes you realise how precious life can be,’ Taylor said at his local club Altrincham, one of more than 2,000 recipients of the Premier League’s Defibrillator Fund.
‘I was 10 metres away, looking directly at him. There was nobody near him. I could clearly see there was something seriously wrong.
‘I’ve witnessed someone suffer a sudden cardiac arrest before, when I was refereeing Burnley and Newcastle. One of my colleagues, Eddie Wolstenholme, had a cardiac arrest in the changing room.’
Eriksen was revived by CPR on the Copenhagen pitch, firstly administered by captain Simon Kjaer, and later a defibrillator
Denmark’s opening game of the tournament was suspended before resuming later that evening.
‘I vividly remember just before we took the teams back inside. A security guy came to me asking permission for his wife to be on the field,’ Taylor added.
‘For me, an absolute no-brainer, of course it’s OK.
‘When it came to a decision over restarting the game, which is one that has obviously been debated, that was made in full agreement with both sets of players and federations.
‘The players had spoken to Christian over FaceTime. Christian had actually said to them that they finish the game.
Taylor says resuming the game was ‘made in full agreement with both sets of players and federations’ before taking back to the pitch
‘It’s certainly been the most challenging situation in my career but it highlights the importance of handling people and emotions.
‘People think referees have no heart and just there to ruin afternoons but the bottom line here is understanding how people feel and react.’
Taylor added: ‘It is managing people and emotions rather than a split-second decision. My concern was for the players and my team.
‘The real heroes are the doctors who did the compressions and Simon Kjaer who started it. My role shifted a little bit, you become central to crisis management. It is humbling to be praised but I reiterate – the only thing I did was get the doctors on.’
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