Tom Bender ambulance delayed, claims Accrington physio

Tom Bender
Image caption Bender was caught in a collision between his goalkeeper and an opposition striker

An ambulance called to Accrington Stanley's ground to treat a player took too long to arrive, the club's physiotherapist has claimed.

Tom Bender, 18, was knocked out in a collision with two other players in the match with Tranmere Rovers on Tuesday.

The ambulance was called at 20:31 BST and arrived 17 minutes later, taking Bender to hospital for a brain scan.

The North West Ambulance Service (NWAS) said the ambulance had not arrived within its eight-minute target.

A spokeswoman said it always sent the nearest available ambulance to an emergency but in some cases it did not arrive straight away.

NWAS confirmed a call had been received at 20.31 and a vehicle mobilised at 20:33.

It arrived at 20:48 and a second ambulance followed five minutes later.

Match abandoned

Physiotherapist Joe Hinnigan said help did not arrive quickly enough to treat the Wales under-21 international.

He said: "The first response we got I think was nine minutes, then about five minutes later it was going be another 25 minutes, which then you start panicking a little bit.

"I think it eventually got here about 25 minutes later."

He added: "We heard that there wasn't an ambulance in Burnley, there wasn't one in nearby Blackburn, they had to come from Preston.

"It's too far, we need to look into that and obviously have something more on hand."

Tranmere were leading 2-1 in the second round Johnstone's Paint Trophy match when Bender was injured in the 39th minute after colliding with Accrington goalkeeper Ian Dunbavin and Tranmere's Lucas Akins.

He was treated for 30 minutes on the pitch, with players ushered away from the Crown Ground pitch as he was given oxygen and put on a drip.

The match was later abandoned.

Bender was taken to the Royal Blackburn Hospital where he underwent a brain scan, and was given the all-clear on Wednesday morning.

He was said to be sitting up in bed and talking to his parents, but was being kept in hospital for checks.

Bender, who had made just four first-team club appearances in his career prior to Tuesday's game, is on a season-long loan deal from Colchester.

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