Glenn Murray was expected to be Brighton’s biggest threat on Saturday.
However, a ninth minute accidental collision with Federico Fernandez left both players needing medical treatment.
The Newcastle defender was quickly back on his feet but both players and match officials frantically indicated that the Brighton striker needed urgent help.
It has now been revealed that Brighton’s Chief Executive Paul Barber has written to Newcastle United after the incident.
In the letter he has praised everybody involved, from the Newcastle fans who gave a standing ovation as Glenn Murray was wheeled from the pitch, to those at the nearby RVI who quickly treated and assessed the player
Paul Barber did though feel the need to defend the ‘stretcher-bearers’, who provoked derisory and angry shouts from the crowd as they appeared to take their time in reaching Murray.
Barber explaining that they are told specifically not to run and instead it is up to the expert medical people, such as the club doctor, to get to the injured player first, which the Brighton CEO said happened within 11 seconds.
Glenn Murray was knocked unconscious and swallowed his tongue but thankfully is now making a good recovery.
Brighton Chief Executive Paul Barber talking to The Argus:
“The referee, Andre Marriner, was excellent. He immediately called for assistance, which in those situations you would expect the referee to do but sometimes they get shocked by what they see and there’s a delay.
“But in this case absolutely not. He (Marriner) was first class, as were the other players, both on our side and Newcastle players.
“They were very quick to realise a fellow professional was in quite serious trouble and wanted assistance onto the pitch as quickly as possible.
“All those things combined were excellent and, once the medics got to Glenn, these are the sort of incidents they train for.
“They did everything they could to get the situation under control, stabilise Glenn’s condition and make sure at the point he was moved he was in the proper condition to be moved, with a neck brace in place.
“Then I think the praise switches to the paramedics on the scene, Newcastle’s operational management which was excellent, to have the ambulance in exactly the right position at exactly the right time.
“And then, within half-an-hour of the incident, Glenn had his scan. Full credit to the hospital and staff for the thoroughly professional way in which they managed the incident and also the speed with which they treated our player.
“We would like to pay tribute to the staff there and thank them, as Glenn did, for their professionalism and hard work. Sometimes their work goes unnoticed and it’s very easy to forget that a whole team of people, in addition to our staff, helped Glenn on Saturday.
“We’ve also sent a letter of thanks to Newcastle. Their staff behind the scenes helped us because Glenn’s family were all in the stadium, his wife, his kids, his mum and dad.”So we had to manage communication with them and get them to the hospital as well.
“Newcastle couldn’t have been more helpful or supportive. So all-round we were delighted that Glenn’s okay, as was Newcastle’s player involved in the incident, but also very grateful for the support and co-operation we received from everybody up in the north-east who were magnificent.
“The Newcastle crowd were fantastic, very supporting, a very decent human-being reaction.
“They were a bit harsh on the stretcher-bearers but we understand why, because it looks like they are not rushing.
“They are actually not allowed to run. The last thing you want is for a stretcher-bearer to fall over.
“Their job is to get there as quickly as they can but as efficiently as they can and, when they get to the patient, if they have been running their heartrate and adrenaline levels are going to be a lot higher and decision-making is more difficult.
“They are trained to get on the pitch as quickly as they can but not sprinting. The most important thing is the most senior medics in the ground (Lewis and Brett) were with the player, in 11 seconds in this case.”