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Bolton Wanderers pay tribute to lifelong supporter who collapsed watching his team

The game between Bolton and Cheltenham was called off after the supporter collapsed and needed medical help (PA)
The game between Bolton and Cheltenham was called off after the supporter collapsed and needed medical help (PA)

Bolton Wanderers have paid tribute to a devout fan who collapsed during a match against Cheltenham Town on Saturday.

Iain Purslow, aged 71, was cheering on the Whites with his son Stuart when he collapsed and suffered a suspected cardiac arrest during the first half at the Lancashire club’s home stadium.

Medical staff and paramedics carried out CPR before Mr Purslow, from Oldham, was rushed to hospital where he sadly died.

In a statement, the club said: “Bolton Wanderers are deeply saddened to confirm that the supporter taken ill at yesterday afternoon’s home fixture against Cheltenham Town has passed away.

“The thoughts of everyone connected to Bolton Wanderers are with Iain’s family and loved ones at this incredibly sad time.”

The match was called off shortly after 4pm in agreement with the referee, half an hour after the players were taken off the pitch. The game will be rearranged in due course, say the club.

A fan group shared a touching tribute on Facebook and said: “Rest in peace Iain Purslow once a wanderer always a wanderer.”

Geoff Parker added: “I worked with Iain for around 10 years a Wanderer through and through and a cracking laugh, RIP friend.”

The club say its chaplain Phil Mason is supporting family members as well as others impacted by the incident.

On Tuesday night’s FA-Cup home match against Luton Town, fans are invited to pay tribute to the life-long supporter.

One fan has called for an applause in memory of Mr Purslow at the 71st minute, to honour his age.

A Cheltenham Town statement read: “The thoughts of everyone at Cheltenham Town are with Iain’s family, loved ones and the Bolton Wanderers community at this deeply sad time.

“The club would also like to thank the travelling supporters at the game for their cooperation and understanding following the distressing incident.”