Former Wednesday goalkeeper David Lucas and Sheffield United centre forward Richard Cresswell go back a long way.
And now their friendship is stronger than ever after Cresswell helped to save his grateful friend’s life.
The two became pals when they played together for Preston from 2001 to 2004 and each of them went on to attend the other’s wedding.
On Saturday they were on opposite sides during the United versus Rochdale game at Bramall Lane when Cresswell was on hand to administer vital first aid after Lucas was knocked unconscious.
Quick-thinking Creswell put the 34-year-old into the recovery position to stop him swallowing his tongue.
And Lucas reckons his mate saved his life: “As dramatic as it sounds to say he saved my life. I was lucky that someone as sensible and quick-thinking as Cressy reacted as quickly as he did.”
The Rochdale keeper lay unconscious on the pitch for 10 minutes. He was then taken by ambulance to the Northern General where he was examined by medical staff before being given the all-clear.
Rochdale manager Steve Eyre said: “I spoke to Ched Evans and he said there was a clash of heads between David Lucas and Dean Holden.
“I think he was concussed for about 20 minutes and you always fear the worst, but he’s been given the all-clear after being taken to A&E.”
Lucas can remember nothing about the incident: “I’ve been told Cressy put me in the recovery position and stopped me swallowing my tongue.
“I only remember a free-kick outside of the box which came into the area and started curling away from me. I thought ‘I’ve got to steady myself here and go in for the ball’.
“Then I knew I was down and the next thing I remember was the emergency staff putting a neck brace on me. So obviously I was knocked out for a few minutes.
“It was totally accidental. I’ll be ringing Cressy to say thank you and also the Blades medical staff for their help.”