On Wednesday night, in front of Severn Sport and those in attendance at Newent Town, Hardwicke midfielder Richard Mansell played in his side’s 3-3 draw and put in a performance worthy enough to be named man of the match…but just hours later he was in hospital about to be told to take a break from football.
“I played most of the game and didn’t feel any pain. Then chest pains just came on at about 1am on Wednesday night,” Mansell said.
“To start with I thought it was just cramp from the way I was sleeping. But after it didn’t go away I woke my wife and we come to the conclusion it was heartburn from eating after the game. Once that didn’t work and the pain was getting worse we knew it was best to get checked out. I had never had any sort of chest pains before or any real history of it in the family either.”
Mansell, who used to play for Gloucester City, Bishops Cleeve and Evesham United amongst others, would be diagnosed with pericarditis – an inflammation of the pericardium (the fibrous sac surrounding the heart) and would be told to take at least the next two months off from any gruelling physical activity.
The midfielder would post the news on his Twitter account on Thursday morning, explaining he would be taking a step back from football to put his health first and was inundated with messages of support from the whole of the local football community.
2/2 so under doctors orders I have to stop all physical activity for 2 months minimum. Going to break me but you only get 1 heart and I’ve have got away lightly with what it could’ve been or happen! Urge anybody with any doubts at all to go get checked out and make sure all is ok
— Richard Mansell (@manse1986) July 18, 2019
“To start with I didn’t really want anyone to know apart from those that needed to, so I told the family and the Hardwicke lads as I know Chivs needed to know numbers for the game Saturday,” Mansell said.
“As I expected there was as much banter as there were supportive messages. When the doctor confirmed that it’s pericarditis and that I would need a complete break from everything it took me a couple of hours to get my head around it being honest.
The messages of support I have received have been at times overwhelming. When I put the tweets out I just wanted to make a point of informing people that if you feel something isn’t right or been niggling away get it checked out. But to hear from players from every club I have played for has been very touching and shows I have made friends for life.
Even a couple of opposition clubs and players have sent messages of support which has been nice and shows at the end of the day football is just a game which continues to unite people.”
After Mansell’s tweet he was greeted with messages of good luck and praise for making the decision to get checked out. Hardwicke’s club account were amongst the replies to wish him the best.
Will be a massive miss on the field for us for a couple of months but in the grand scheme of things 8 weeks or so is nothing, just glad you’re ok and knowing you, you will be back fitter and stronger than ever, now rest up and all the best from everyone at the club
— Hardwicke AFC (@HardwickeAFC) July 18, 2019
Two days later Mansell has reflected on the incident whilst speaking to Severn Sport and he has encouraged fellow sportsmen and women locally to not take any chances when it comes to their health and that if something doesn’t feel right, it is better to be safe than sorry…sentiments we 100% echo and agree with!
“My symptoms showed themselves and I was able to act on them and get them checked out,” Mansell told Severn Sport.
“Unfortunately that isn’t always the case. We all know or have heard of others just in local Gloucestershire sport from both Rugby and Football that haven’t been so lucky. whilst picking up a superficial injury it’ easy to see and judge when your back fit.
I can’t stress enough that should you not feel 100 percent go and get yourself checked out! Yes it may take a week or so to make an appointment with a doctor but what could come from that appointment could be lifesaving!” Mansell added.
Everyone at Severn Sport would like to wish Richard Mansell all the best with his recovery and can’t wait to see him back in action for Hardwicke in the County League this season.