Steve Bruce has admitted his future is out of his hands after enduring defeat in Newcastle’s first match under their new owners but he praised the actions of home supporters for potentially saving a fellow fan’s life after he needed urgent medical attention.
Newcastle have confirmed the supporter is now awake and responsive in hospital following the incident during the first half of the 3-2 defeat by Tottenham that led to play being suspended for more than 20 minutes by the referee Andre Marriner.
After a joyous reception for the new non-executive chairman, Yasir al-Rumayyan, watching from the stands, Callum Wilson had given Newcastle’s new Saudi Arabian owners a dream start by opening the scoring in the second minute before Tanguy Ndombele and Harry Kane’s first league goal of the season turned the match in Tottenham’s favour.
But having initially been alerted by home fans that a person in the East Stand was in need of medical attention, Tottenham’s Sergio Reguilón and Eric Dier informed their bench that a member of the public required a defibrillator and Marriner stopped the match before taking the players off the pitch.
“I have to say well done to the supporters – they made it pretty obvious something was happening,” Bruce said. “They alerted the players who immediately responded. The big thing is that we had specialists and a defibrillator over that side of the ground and that has probably saved the man’s life.”
Son Heung-min scored for Spurs just after the restart to give Nuno Espírito Santo’s side a 3-1 lead at half-time before Dier’s late own goal, with Newcastle still waiting for their first win of the season. Following a week of intense speculation about his future under the new owners, Bruce – who was taking charge of his 1,000th match as a manager – insisted he would continue until told otherwise.
“I’ll wait until they see fit and we’ll see what they are going to say,” he said. “You better ask somebody else about that one.”
The victory moved Tottenham up to fifth place after a run of poor results under Nuno. He praised the quick thinking of Reguilón and Dier, who were named as joint man of the match after their heroic actions.
“Credit to how they reacted to what was happening and to Andre, the referee,” he said. “He made the right decision to stop the game. Thank God the fan is stable – this is really good news.”
Reguilón said: “I looked at the fans, they were saying ‘stop, stop’. I told the gaffer that someone in the crowd was lying down and to stop the game. It was very strange, we went to the dressing room and I was looking at the man lying down, I was nervous because I don’t like to watch that.”