Published: 05:00, 09 October 2021
A football club is thanking people who sent messages of support so one of its players could get back on his feet after suffering a cardiac arrest.
T-Jay Taylor, a midfielder for New Inn Football Club, was rushed to hospital in July after playing a six-a-side game with friends.
The cardiac arrest had been caused by Wolff-Parkinson-White syndrome, a heart condition he has had since birth.
Now, less than three months on, the 21-year-old, from Sittingbourne, has returned to the pitch – and he even scored on his first competitive game back with New Inn FC on September 19.
Dan Reed, manager of the Division 2 team, which is based in Teynham and plays in the Havill Sheppey Sunday League, has thanked well-wishers for supporting his player.
He said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has supported T-Jay on his road to recovery.
"That includes all the other clubs in our league, which sent in well wishes, as well as the ex-footballers who sent videos to him to wish him well.
“Our Twitter page has gone mad lately – we’re now followed by professional teams, amateur teams from all over the world, and celebrities too.”
Naming a few, T-Jay, who has spent two seasons with the club, received messages and videos from Spanish football expert Guillem Balagué; former professional goalkeeper Chris Kirkland, who played for Liverpool and England; and former professional striker Dean Windass, who played for a number of clubs including Hull City.
He also received a letter from Manchester United Football Club, of which he is a fan, wishing him a “speedy recovery”, and Liverpool football legend Neil “Razor” Ruddock agreed to sign his shirt that he wears for the club.
T-Jay said: “I’m overwhelmed and touched by all of the well-wish messages that I’ve received over the past few months, which have helped me recover quicker.”
Meanwhile, the team has new home shirts, thanks to Tom Excell of Kent Stone Fabrication, and they help to promote two charities: The Bradley Lowery Foundation, and the DYRK1A Syndrome International Association.
Manager Dan, 39, who lives in Ashford, said: “Bradley Lowery touched the hearts of every football fan around the world, while one of my player’s little girls has DYRK1A Syndrome.
“I wanted to raise as much awareness for them as possible.”
This is not the first time the football team has helped to raise awareness for charity. In 2019, players and their gaffer stripped off for a cheeky calendar in aid of Prostate Cancer UK.