A HERO table tennis player saved a man’s life after he suffered a heart attack during a match.

Keith Denyer, 74, from Hockley, rushed to offer lifesaving CPR after the player fell ill during a game at The Megacentre, Brook Road, Rayleigh last Tuesday.

He applied CPR and then further help was provided by a member of staff with a defibrillator. The man was taken to hospital and survived his ordeal.

Lifesaver Keith said instinct just kicked in and he knew what to do.

He said: “At the start of the evening the man told the teams he was having breathing issues and said he would need to have a few moments to rest during the games. He believed breathing issues were down to medication for diabetes.

“All of a sudden he stopped breathing and collapsed and I rushed over to catch him and took his weight before he fell to the ground.

“I put him into the recovery position and he was still struggling to breath so I helped to get his airways clear.

“I then rolled him over and started CPR and shouted to people near to get a qualified first aider and an ambulance.

“He had stopped breathing and his heart had stopped.

“I kept going with the CPR and it took a little while but then he started breathing again but was struggling.

“When we used the defibrillator he bounced off the floor.

“I’ve heard he’s doing okay and he sent his thanks, which was nice. We haven’t had much contact as I don’t want to bother him.”

Mr Denyer said this is not the first time he’d saved a life, he did a similar thing on a beach in Majorca 40 years ago.

The fitness fan said he didn’t even think before acting.

He said: “I just realised I needed to act straight away.

“It is precious seconds when someone is like that.

“I knew I had to get on with it and felt a bit shaky afterwards but think the adrenaline just kicked in at the time.”

Medics told him it could have been a very serious outcome if he hadn’t reacted as he did.