A striking memorial to a veteran referee who collapsed and died at a football match has been given the best seat in the house at a Mirfield sports pitch.
Well-known and much-liked Colin Heeley, will now never miss a game at Battyeford Sporting Club, after his wife, Pauline, decided to donate a bench to fulfil his last wishes.
It is a fitting and poignant honour to Colin, 78, who tragically lost his life due to a heart attack whilst refereeing a Huddersfield District League match between Thornhill United versus Almondbury Woolpack in Rectory Park, Dewsbury in March.
A respected sportsman who had been an official in both the Spen Valley League and in Huddersfield, he was also a highly thought of cricket umpire.
Pauline, who lived with Colin in Heathfield, Mirfield, presented the bench, engraved with the words, ‘In loving memory of Colin Heeley 1935-2014, an active referee for 41 years , forever in our hearts’ at an emotional event at Battyeford.
She said: “He always said that if there were to be any lasting memories to him they would be on a football pitch.
“Despite the tragic event, the one consolation is that he had made his end of life wishes clear, which were also that it was to be quick and on a football field. He died doing what he loved.
“Sitting on it was really emotional and I can’t really describe how it felt-it was good to know that he got what he wanted but incredibly sad at the same time because he’s not here anymore.”
Two football players, Almondbury player Andy Senior and teenage Thornhill player Adam Kennedy, battled to save Colin using CPR after he collapsed on the field and managed to keep him alive for 20 minutes until his ambulance arrived.
Unfortunately, he then lost his fight for life on the journey to the hospital.
It is the first gift given to the community club, which Pauline now hopes will receive a defibrillator, the device that delivers shocks to the heart if it detects a cardiac arrest and saved the life of Aimbry footballer, Lee Orton in 2013.
Huddersfield Goals 4 Hearts, which was set up by Lee Orton after he cheated death, is behind the scheme which wants to give them out to as many community sports clubs as possible.
Pauline, said: “Following the numerous generous donations from individuals, sporting clubs and events, there are now sufficient funds to purchase a defibrillator, through Lee Orton.
“I have recommended to Lee that Battyeford Sporting Club be the recipient of this defibrillator.”