Chelsea defender and captain Leo James is in the news for visiting a Chelsea fan who survived a near-death experience.
The Daily Mail, a British newspaper, revealed the news on Sunday (July 17), saying, “James paid a visit to a Chelsea fan who was hospitalized after suffering a heart attack.”
According to the media, the fan suffered a heart attack while watching Chelsea’s match against Manchester City in the 12th round of the 2023/24 English Premier League on March 13 and was dead for about 20 minutes.
Paramedics from Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s home stadium, were called to the scene and worked to save the fan’s life as quickly as possible. The match against Man City ended in a 4-4 draw after a series of equalizers and come-from-behind goals.
The fan was revived by the paramedics and was able to watch Chelsea play. The fan is now reportedly recovering in a hospital.
James shared the news of the fan on social media on April 16.
“I visited a fan who suffered a cardiac arrest at the last Man City game. He was dead for 20 minutes but the club’s paramedics worked quickly to save his life,” he said. “He was a strong man and had a wonderful family. He is recovering well,” he said, adding a prayerful emoji.
“Life is very precious and unpredictable,” he added, “You never know what will happen when or where. You should enjoy every moment, even if life is very hard. Be kind and show love. Because you never know what problems people around you have and you never know what will happen in the near future.”
He also posted a photo with the fan, expressing his happiness for her recovery.
James has used his social media to share life lessons and uplift others before. After the end of the 2022/23 season, he took to social media to post a photo of a diary entry that showed his honest feelings. At the time, James was out of action for an extended period of time due to injury and had to watch his team finish 12th in the league.
In the diary, he wrote, “Injuries affect me a lot. When I’m not playing, it’s like the world has turned its back on me,” he wrote in his diary, expressing his frustration at not being able to play and his grief over the injury.
“Outsiders think the ‘soccer player’s world’ is perfect, but it’s not,” he said, “It’s a crazy journey. It’s a crazy journey. There are so many ups and downs,” he said, sharing the woes of a soccer player.
James was sidelined for about a month in the middle of last season with a hamstring injury.
After recovering, the injury returned and he spent another month on the sidelines, earning him the reputation of being a “glass house” player. He played just 24 games last season, compared to 39 in 2021/22, and didn’t help the team’s downward spiral.
This season, James was named the new captain after Cesar Aspilicueta left the club. However, injury struck again and he didn’t start after the first round of the league, before returning to the starting lineup in the 11th round against Tottenham Hotspur. He followed that up with a solid performance against Man City, proving that he is one of the best fullbacks in the league.
James was not called up to the England squad for the A-match period, but if he continues to perform well once the club is back in league contention, he could be in line for a place at Euro 2024.
After the A-match period, Chelsea will be back in action on Sept. 26 against Newcastle in round 13 of the league as they look to climb back up the standings. The Blues are currently in 10th place.