Bolton Wanderers pay emotional tribute to lifelong fan who died following cardiac arrest last weekend

Danny Jones Danny Jones - 16th January 2024

Bolton Wanderers FC are in mourning as they pay tribute to a lifelong fan who tragically died during a league match this past weekend.

Boyhood Bolton fan Iain Purlsow, 71, suffered a suspected cardiac arrest during the home fixture against Cheltenham Town on Saturday, 14 January.

The game was ultimately abandoned after Purslow was rushed to hospital and sadly passed away later that afternoon.

The club and its fan base have been paying their respects to the Oldham-based supporter, with social media awash with tributes and posts remembering the well-known fan, as well as tips on how to try and help in the event of a medical emergency in the crowd.

The 71-year-old Bolton fan sadly died despite the best efforts of several individuals who attempted to save his life using CPR.

A regular match-goer with his son Stuart Purslow, Iain was described as nothing short of a true member of the “BWFC family” by manager Ian Evatt, who assured that his family will be given the peace, time, patience and privacy to deal with the tragic loss.


The head coach went on to insist that “it is all about them and nobody else. Obviously, we’re extremely saddened to lose one of our fans – we are united, we are a family here… but it’s not about anybody else but that family tomorrow evening and Saturday.

“They deserve some time to mourn and some peace and quiet — and to be left alone to do that”.


As alluded to, as agreed with Iain’s family, the club will be holding a minute’s silence before the start of their FA Cup tie against Luton Town on Tuesday night (16 January) as well as a minute’s applause in the 71st minute, with black armbands being worn and club flags being flown at half-mast.

Countless fans from Bolton and beyond have paid tribute to Purslow who sadly died this past weekend.

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While not referenced directly by Evatt, the emphasis on privacy feels more pertinent than ever after The Sun published a shameful headline claiming that the game had been abandoned simply because a fan was “ill” prior to the news of Purslow’s death.

Naturally, fans across the UK and outside of football were appalled and have once again called for people to boycott the tabloid.


More importantly, however, it highlighted just how crucial first aiders, medics and fans within British football grounds are, with Bolton thanking their “supporters and medical staff who provided assistance, and for the cooperation and understanding of everyone inside the stadium”.

They gave special thanks to those directly involved in trying to save Iain, including photographer and former paramedic Lee Parker, who was first on the scene; fellow fans Dr Simon Irving, Dr Syed Bokhari and James Bracegirdle, as well as steward Gerald McManus and the North West Ambulance Service.

Rest in peace.

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Featured Image — Bolton Wanderers/Burden Aces(via X)