Boston United assistant manager Paul Holden returns after double heart attack
ASSISTANT manager Paul Holden returned to Boston United on Saturday – just weeks after suffering a double heart attack.
The 54-year-old was taken ill on Christmas Day on the eve of Graham Drury's first match in charge of the Pilgrims.
Holden's heart stopped twice before he made a rapid recovery.
He even rung Drury on Boxing Day morning to talk tactics and has been in daily contact with the United boss.
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On Saturday, he attended his first Pilgrims match, watching from the stands as Boston defeated Colwyn Bay 1-0.
"Basically I had two heart attacks, one after the other," he explained.
"My heart stopped twice, once in the ambulance and once in the hospital.
"I ended up in Papworth, which is the best heart hospital in the country, so I was in good hands.
"They've fitted a stent into one side (of the heart). I've got a bit of damage to the heart, but they've advised me to get back to life as I knew it before, although in a gradual process.
"I don't think it's going to hold me up too much, I've just got to be steady to start with.
"I've got to do it at my own pace. I've got a decent brain in my head and I'll deal with it in the right way.
"So I'm on the mend. It's been a shock obviously, but I'm really pleased to be here."
Holden recounted how, with his wife at work and with no mobile phone signal, he drove out of the village to call for help while feeling ill.
"We've got a tied cottage with my wife's job and we decided to stay there over Christmas," he explained.
"We'd been to deliver the presents to our children and grandchildren and were planning to have a quiet day.
"My wife was working when it happened and when she came back I wasn't in the house.
"I didn't have a signal so I had to get outside to get a signal.
"I wasn't sure what was happening and I was debating whether to ring an ambulance or not.
"I'm glad I did because I lay down at one stage and if I'd fallen asleep then I probably wouldn't be here now.
"We're back at our home in Bardney now and trying to put it behind us."
Holden has not suffered heart problems in the past.
"I'm a fit bloke and I train everyday. My job is a physical training instructor (with the army)," he said.
"My cholesterol is low, I don't smoke and I don't drink excessively.
"The cardiologist just said I was unlucky."